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A Guide to Posting in Your SparkTeam Forum

  FORUM:   General Team Discussion Forum
TOPIC:   Looking for advice 


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ALEFSCUBA
ALEFSCUBA's Photo SparkPoints: (9,275)
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7/14/09 3:22 P

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My nasal passages are missing the internal "twists and turns" (because my mother applied her steroid spray on me as I was growing, causing them not to grow) so I know exactly the feeling of water rushing in undeflected. :)

Loving water, and to compensate for that, I've learned to exercise better breathing control through my nose and mouth. If the feeling of the rushing water bothers you too much (as I gather from your risking your life by bolting for the surface), try practicing without water first: fit your mask WITHOUT the straps, and try to keep it on your face (yes, at the beginning the mask must help with a good fit, but it is a skill, and I can do it with pretty much any size and color mask). After years of practice, I can dive on the pool with an unstrapped mask, keeping the vacuum with my nose, while breathing through my mouth (regulator).

When I swim breaststroke, I inhale through my mouth, and exhale though my nose. This is EXACTLY what I do to clear a mask. So another exercise: if you swim breaststroke, do so for some time inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose. Once it feels rhythmic and natural, grab a mask, and clear it right there at the pool with the same rhythm and all. Remember that you do not need to do it in a single or even three breaths, you can continue breathing in through your mouth and out your nose forever, even if the mask won't clear.

I do not tilt my head back to clear. Most masks are designed to not accumulate water at the bottom if looking straight ahead, or even a little bit down.

It took the Keiko the whale months to learn how to breath-hold after years in shallow water captivity... and then she died in open water. But she did not drown! Good luck breathing,

Alex emoticon


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FINDINGREALME
FINDINGREALME's Photo SparkPoints: (17,134)
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7/14/09 12:05 P

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Thanks to everyone for the comments!

As a followup, we went down to the Lake this last weekend for our cert. The whole thing went smoother than I had expected. The instructor signaled for me to clear the mask at about 20 feet. I freaked out in my head for a few seconds because when I tried it in the pool at 13 feet, I got water up my nose and bolted to the surface. I really did not want that to happen. I took a deep breath in on the regulator and then lifted the top edge of my mask to fill it about 3/4 full (what he had asked for ahead of time). Then I tilted my head up and pushed down lightly on the two top corners of my mask. It took several puffs to clear the water out but it worked. I think one of the major differences was that I stayed calm and focused on my instructor's eyes -- imagine that, huh?

I have another appointment with the ENT tomorrow to review the antihistimane spray and discuss surgery for the nasal passage blockages. I am leaning towards doing it so I don't have breathing issues as I get older. But I am very happy to have this crossed off my to-do list...now I can focus on improving my skills in an all-around fashion!!

Thanks again to everyone for jumping with the wonderful advice!!

emoticon

--- Beth ---

2010: Time to kick some serious butt

200 by 2/28/10
190 by 4/30/10


"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
— J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)



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MICHELAR
MICHELAR's Photo Posts: 22,157
7/13/09 3:19 P

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I am one of those people that will give very slight lift to the bottom of my mask as I breathe out. never had any problems with this method.
Good luck!

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. (Anonymous)

From wine what sudden friendship springs! (John Gay 1685- 1732)





COMET60
COMET60's Photo Posts: 538
6/25/09 8:52 P

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Beth,

Super ditto on the "LIGHTLY" press your fingers against the top of your mask.
Resist the urge to LIFT your mask... that is what lets the water rush in the bottom and up your nose.
Just press against the top of your mask and breathe out through your nose as you tilt your head upward.

I did my indoor class in November and then had to wait for the water/weather to warm before I could do my open water.
When I got in the pool months later to "brush up" like you did, I made the same mistake. During class it hadn't been a problem but then all of a sudden I just couldn't seem to not get a nose full of water.... I found that I was lifting my mask instead of just pressing down a bit to break the seal, just like WALKOFFWIN said.
Hang in there- you'll get it!!! Good luck on your certification!!!!



WALKOFFWIN
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6/24/09 7:07 P

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Beth, I think that was excellent advice, and I can't think of anything to add, because I think you covered it all.

I'd just add some emphasis to this part:

"You don't need to pull the lower part of the mask away from your face.(You can, but it's not necessary.)"

I've seen some new divers pull the lower part of the mask too far away from their faces, allowing more water in, than the air expelled from their noses is pushing out.

Like you said, it's not even necessary to do at all, and if done, it should create only a very small space between lower mask and face - just a crack.

"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. -- Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Franklin D. Roosevelt


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BIONICBETH
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6/23/09 8:26 P

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Hi Beth,

I'm not sure if this will help, but I'll give it a try. (Not knowing what you've already been told.)

When you need to clear your mask:
1. Press into the top edge of your mask with your fingers, so air can't escape out the top.
2. Tilt your head back a bit (maybe 45 degrees or so)
3. Take a breath from your regulator, and then exhale out your nose.

That should fill the upper part of the mask with extra air, forcing the water in the lower part of the mask out the bottom.

You don't need to pull the lower part of the mask away from your face.(You can, but it's not necessary.)

Also, you don't have to blast the air out of your nose...a slow "humming" exhale should do the trick.

Maybe trying it by filling a bit of the mask (in the shower?) and then clearing it where it can't leak more water in will let you get the hang of it. (In that case, definitely don't pull the lower mask away from your face. Just exhale through your nose.)

I am NOT an instructor...Just somebody who has to clear her mask a LOT. (I have a difficult time finding a mask that fits well.)

If anybody out here feels I gave bad advice, or can explain better...PLEASE feel free to correct me.

-Beth


FINDINGREALME
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6/23/09 1:06 P

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Hi! As I mentioned in my intro to the team a while back, hubby and I took the indoor scuba skills class back in May and were scheduled to do the open water class/test in May but that did not work out because of a head cold. So I have been working on getting in the pool in prep for our next trip to the Lake in July. I am comfortable with the different skills we covered in class but the mask clearing is kicking my butt. It is kinda embarrassing but I cannot seem to blow enough air out of my nose to clear the mask.

My instructor told me to tilt my head back to help clear it but when I do that the water is running up into my nose. I don't think I am breathing in but I am getting frustrated with not being able to do this "simple" thing as someone in my pool class put it.

Wondered if anyone on the team had similar issues or had suggestions? I really love this sport and so want to get into the ocean but this is standing in my way.

Beth

--- Beth ---

2010: Time to kick some serious butt

200 by 2/28/10
190 by 4/30/10


"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
— J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)



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