Medical Forum
This not an emergency service, in case of a diving incident, please contact your local Coastguard, nearest recompression chamber or emergency services.
New Question
Specialist Forums > Medical Forum
Posted : January 5, 2010
Dear Dr. Flirth,

I'm new in diving and did 8 dives within 18m depth. I feel congestion in my left ear after each dive and a pain after the 8th dive. Went to ENT doctor and he said that there was infection inside my ear because of my tympanic membrane has been broken. He suggested a myringoplasty and suggested that I should not do any diving again.

Seeking your thought and advise if it is possible and safe to dive again after a myringoplasty. I really dont want to give up my diving.

Thank you and best regards

Posted : January 5, 2010
Thanks for the query Dessi.

Most eardrum perforations will heal up themselves given time. I don't know the time scale here between your diving and seeing the ENT doctor, but after 2-3 months a perforation will often heal by itself. It will usually leave some scar tissue, and this will be weaker than an undamaged drum, but shouldn't stop you diving in future if you are careful with your equalising.

A myringoplasty is basically a patch over an unhealing perforation, so once the area has healed over then diving is still possible, with similar caveats (ie. the area will be slightly weaker).

Hope that helps


Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Additional Comment

Posted : January 5, 2010 by - Dessi
Dear Dr. Firth,

Thank you very much for your advise, how I am glad to know this. So if I am being careful in equalization, it should be okay for me to dive again? Could you kindly advise the caveats for this condition.

Best Regards
Additional Comment

Posted : January 5, 2010 by - Dr Oliver Firth
Hi Dessi

The caveats I mean are basically that a healed eardrum will always be a bit weaker than a previously undamaged one. Obviously you should never dive with a cold or upper airways congestion, nor in strong vertical currents. Remember that most of the expansion of gas in the middle ear takes place in the upper 10m of water so be careful when you initially descend, and when you are nearly at the surface on the ascent.

Hope that clarifies things

Regards, Dr O
Additional Comment

Posted : January 6, 2010 by - Dessi
Thank you very much Dr.Firth, highly appreciate your thought and advise.

best regards
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
About us | Disclaimer & terms of use | Contact us | Site News | Suggestions | Link to us | Advertising Info
© 2006 Personal Print Ltd