Medical Forum
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Posted : September 7, 2015
Would I be able to learn to dive after an atticotomy?
Hi, I was wondering if the fact that I have had an atticotomy performed on my left ear would exclude me from learning to dive.
the op was performed over 4 years ago and since then I have suffered no ill effects like vertigo, dizziness. I am also easily able to do the valsalva manoeuvre and can feel my tubes opening and hear the pop associated with it. the op was performed due to a previous t-tube that I had in the ear and had left a small hole in my ear drum after it made it own way out. Although it was not disgnosed that I had got Cholesteatoma the op was done because I kept getting trapped fluid behind my ear - more like mucus rather than the nasty discharge that I understand you get from Cholesteatoma. The ear drum was grafted at the same time to repair it and I have been trouble free since except for some hearing loss. I fully intend to go and seek some advice from my GP but it would be nice to know before I go. I have always wanted to learn to dive after doing a little taster at school and it would be great if it was possible. Thanks in advance.
Posted : April 4, 2016
Thanks for the query and apologies for the delayed reply.

Provided middle ear equalisation works effectively and the ear drum is fully healed then diving ought to be possible. Be aware that any diver can suffer hearing damage if their middle or inner ears are injured, so there is always a risk that your hearing loss may be worsened. Due care and attention to safe equalising should minimise this risk however.

I'd recommend getting a "fit to dive" medical with a doctor knowledgeable in diving medicine, to look into the specifics of your case.

Regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
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.
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