I was doing some dive training with my instructor in the cold Pacific Northwest ocean.
One drill included removing my mask underwater for 10 seconds before ascending to the surface.
This drill caused my sinuses to contract rapidly which led to some blood being added to my nasal mucus the next morning.
What causes bloody nasal mucus?
“The cold air/water can cause cracks in the mucous membranes of the nose, which can lead to exposed blood vessels that can then bleed.”
What is Sinus squeeze?
- a condition where pressure inside a sinus cavity causes pain, commonly occurs when a scuba diver cannot equalize sinus pressure due to nasal congestion. This is also called (sinus) barotrauma.
One way to prevent sinus squeeze is to treat allergies and sinus conditions before diving or flying, and make sure you descend and ascend slowly using valsalva manuevers (swallowing or yawning on an airplane) to equalize pressure.
How can we treat these issues without drugs?
I have developed several manual manipulation tools that help address these issues:
- A-P compression of the skull
- Rope compression of the skull
- Equalization with one ear elevated
- Inhale and hold breath
- Hold nose closed
- Elevate ear by tilting the head to one side [perform bilaterally]
- Perform Valsalva [force air out thru the ears]
If you have found other approaches to these problems I would like to hear from you. You can email me at DrT@DrToddTurnbull.com.
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