It’s common for divers to have ear issues as a result of water entering the ear canal, difficulty equalizing pressure while underwater, or the onset of an ear infection. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways—or, rather, products—that you can rely on for protection against “swimmer’s ear” or ear infections.
Ear infections are basically caused by the growth of bacteria and fungi in wet ear canals. If that sounds gross to you (and it should), it would be best to find the best protective solution before any ear issues make you turn away from your beloved sport. After all, who wants to go scuba diving with ear problems?
Recommended Ear Protection Products for Diving
Choose the best type of ear protection product for you or, better yet, have one of each for optimum protection for each of your unique dives. They’re affordable, compact, and available on Leisure Pro.
If you suffer from frequent ear infections as a result of scuba diving, snorkeling, or spending a lot of time in the water, Scuba Divers Choice Ear Drops is one of the most inexpensive and gentle diving solutions for sensitive ears.
Simply squeeze a few drops into your ears after you get out of the water and the simple solution will work fast to dry up any moisture in your ear canal while simultaneously conditioning its delicate lining to avoid irritation.
While drops work just fine, some don’t like the feeling of liquid dripping into their ear. Some people even find them irritating, especially when they have to use them often. In this case, an ear dryer can be used to blow a gentle flow of warm air into each ear to safely dry the outer ear canal.
Mack’s Ear Dryer, for instance, looks like—and is used just like—an ear thermometer when unfolded, since it was invented by an ENT doctor. The device can dry each ear for about a minute after swimming, participating in water sports, or diving. It can also be used after hearing aid use. The whole family can use it, especially since it includes four color-coded, washable earpieces.
You’ll want to choose a foldable ear dryer so that you can easily store it in your dry bag, gym bag, purse, glove box, or any small compartment when not in use.
Scuba Diving Ear Plugs
One of the surest ways that you can keep water out of your ears is to use earplugs for diving. However, scuba diving with earplugs is not always a viable option since there’s always a risk of them popping out or, worse, getting wedged into the ear canal due to water pressure. Manufacturers have since come up with vented earplugs, which have holes that allow pressurization without letting water enter the ear canal.
If you’re determined to try out earplugs during your dives, Doc’s Proplugs are one of the top choices. It’s safe, doctor-created, and used by many divers to keep water out while making pressurization “easier.” Doctors recommend them as long as you wear the right size (youth/adult in S, M, L, and XL) to ensure the proper fit.
In addition to the earplugs, you can choose to add protection by covering your head and ears with a scuba hood. This scuba accessory comes in a variety of styles and thicknesses to suit all types of diving. These include lightweight beanies that cover just your head, leaving the neck and shoulders free, and hoods that can also be integrated into a vest for added insulation on your upper body—something that comes in very handy in colder waters!
A scuba hood like the XS Scuba 2mm Tropic Beanie is a worthy investment for any diver who is hoping to avoid infections or is already suffering from diving-related ear issues. You can even add the Pro Ear 2000 Neoprene Hood for particularly stubborn ear troubles or deeper water dives.
Mask with Ear Covers
For divers who just can’t seem to equalize their ear pressure no matter how many equalization techniques they practice, relief exists in the form of the IST Pro Ear Two Window Mask.
This unique mask features two soft silicone ear covers that connect the ambient pressure inside the mask with the ambient pressure in the ear canal through the use of one-way valve tubes that allow air to flow freely between the two areas without letting water in. Each ear pocket has a feathered edge skirt to create a tight seal around your ears, just like your mask.
Finally, swivel buckles and an extra-wide mask strap allow for fine-tuning to get the perfect fit. It’s definitely worth considering if you don’t want to wear a hood that’s separate from your goggles but still want more coverage for your ears.