After the first three sessions, my ears were blocked partially and my hearing reduced for about ten days. In this case, the usual unblocking methods did not seem to work. I tried a medicine, Zymelin, that contained xylometazoline hydrochloride 140mcg/dose, but it was ineffective. Instead, time cleared the obstruction to the point where the unblocking methods began to work. It was a bit similar for me to going up and down in an aeroplane, where up and down is no problem, but up and down twice or more can be.
This post is an update on the ear issues related to HBOT pressure changes, which basically went on for weeks and weeks before eventually becoming better. I don't know if the improvement was due to HBOT for that I will have to do another experiment at a later time.
I did 45 sessions in a row, and soon faced the same issue, with small variations, major improvement began to happen after 42 days, and it has continued now that I have paused. I think the HBOT, was good for the skin and eventually also for my hearing, as it came back. Odd was that after some days with reduced hearing, I noticed it was like normal when under pressure. Then it stayed better while lying down, but reverted to worse when getting up and changing to an upright position.
One possibility was that the ear was plugged, but litres of hot water over several days had no effect, though initially the ears did get a bit cleaner.
I tried the Valsalva maneuver. In the beginning nothing worked, I thought I did it wrong and blew my nose a bit harder, but I learned to be more careful, as mucus tainted by blood came out from one side, as if a blood vessel had ruptured. I eventually dared to attempt it again with less pressure and mixed results, one side, or both, a moment of clearing and mostly no change, it mainly began to work when the condition from other indicators was improving.
At some stage I heard about the idea to move the head, backwards. Eventually that began to work as long as the head was kept that way, but it is difficult to work or have conversation in such an awkward position, though the exercise when done carefully appears to be good for neck flexibility.
Swallowing and gum chewing from beginning to after the end, and long after, brought little success. Another suggestion was that maybe I went in and out too quickly. I tried reducing it gradually over 35-45 minutes, but there was no difference from getting out after 3-5 minutes of depressurizing. Would it have worked with getting out slow if I had consistently taken 45 minutes to get out every time? I don't know, but if going up and down with a plane a couple of times can cause issues, then no surprise that an HBOT does since the pressure difference is larger. While the HBOT reached 1,5 atm, a passenger plane typically uses
only 3/4 atm:
Pressurizing an aircraf
t too much could put its fuselage under too much stress from differential pressure as the plane climbs, Horning says. To avoid that, airliners don't try to duplicate the air pressure at sea level. Instead, at a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet (10,973 meters), most commercial jets simulate the air pressure at an elevation of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters),
about the same as Aspen, Colorado.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner
, which has super-strong carbon fiber in its airframe, is able to get that down to the equivalent of air pressure at 6,000 feet (1,829 meters). "That's better, because as the cabin altitude goes up, you have less oxygen in your blood," Horning explains. "That's why when you get off a plane, you may feel tired."
Say the pressure is 101325 Pa at surface level and the temperature is 15 Degrees Celsius, then the pressure according to the calculator
at 8000 feet is 75262 Pa or approximately 3/4 of the normal pressure at sea level.
A shorter eating window seemed to help, as did more infrequent smoking, and over and above all - time. I am quite sure that if I had continued with HBOT, I would have kept improving, just like I did in the past after plane trips, but will I now be free of the plane cabin pressure issues, and how will HBOT feel when I return to the experiment one day?