Upon arriving for your freediving vacation, you may notice issues with equalizing your ears or sinuses. If you find yourself congested, there are several tips and tricks to aid in restoring proper equalization courtesy of Atlantis Freediving. Before delving into these tips, it's important to note that our insights are based on years of experience, and we are not medical professionals. If you feel unwell or severely congested, it's advisable to consult a doctor. However, if you're inclined to try the suggestions discussed in this video, feel free to explore them as they might prove helpful.
Congestion can stem from two primary reasons. Firstly, it could be due to an ongoing infection in the upper respiratory system, causing tissues within the sinuses or the upper respiratory system to swell. This swelling restricts the passages, making it challenging to push air in for equalization. This scenario is often observed around the eustachian tube, where increased mucus production hinders equalization, especially if there's an infection. If you suspect an infection, such as a virus or bacteria, seeking medical advice is recommended.
On the other hand, congestion may result from a buildup of mucous in the affected area, either recently or in the near past. In such cases, clearing the mucous becomes essential for proper equalization.
If you know you'll be diving during your holiday, it's crucial to prioritize hydration, especially during travel. Long flights or trips to tropical destinations, where the air in planes is dry and recycled, can lead to dehydration. In this environment, the body tends to produce more liquid mucus in the upper respiratory system to maintain moisture. Therefore, staying well-hydrated is essential to prevent mucous from becoming thicker and causing congestion.
Additionally, be mindful of alcohol consumption, as it can contribute to dehydration. If serious training is on the agenda, avoiding excessive alcohol intake is advisable to prevent complications upon arrival at the destination.
If you do find yourself congested, a simple and effective solution is steaming. Boiling a pot of water, adding salt, and optionally incorporating chamomile can provide relief. Steaming introduces hot, humid air into the upper respiratory system, making thick deposits of mucous softer and promoting the body's natural process of expelling it. Steaming also enhances blood circulation in the nasal cavities, aiding in the healing process.
For those open to alternative methods, using a neti pot or a product like RhinoDouche can be beneficial. These bottles allow for the flushing of sinuses with saline water, effectively rinsing out deposits of mucous.
In some cases, medications such as decongestant tablets can provide relief, especially if congestion is making equalization challenging. However, it's advisable to avoid nasal sprays, as they may not effectively address sinus congestion.
If congestion persists and is accompanied by symptoms like headaches or pulsating pain, seeking medical attention is crucial. Chronic sinusitis or a full infection may require antibiotics, and diving should be avoided until a complete recovery.
In conclusion, individuals from polluted environments or those with allergies may experience heightened mucous production. Preemptive measures like steaming and sinus rinses a few days before a holiday can help clear the respiratory system, ensuring an enjoyable freediving experience.