Diving After A Perforated Eardrum

Diving for the first time after perforating my eardrum in March 2019 was a bit daunting but as we are currently closed and had time on my hands, I struck up the courage to go for a dive to check it out. Our local doctor confirmed the hole had sealed up about 2 months ago but I did leave it for a year to be on the safe side.


  1. What is a perforated eardrum?
  2. Symptoms of a perforated eardrum
  3. Finishing The Dive

1. What is a perforated eardrum?

A perforated or burst eardrum is a hole in the eardrum. It'll usually heal within a few weeks and might not need any treatment.

I wore the school kit and loved the Aqualung Safaga 5.5mm wetsuit which kept me warm, I was pleasantly surprised after doing an hour’s dive and not feeling cold at all.

Diving After A Perforated Eardrum

2. Symptoms of a perforated eardrum

  • Ear pain that may subside quickly.
  • Mucuslike, pus-filled or bloody drainage from your ear.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Nausea or vomiting that can result from vertigo.

The water was beautiful with great visibility with the temperature at 20 degrees and we dived to 16 meters enjoying the marine life along the way, Morays, Rainbow Wrasse, Giant Tun Shell, Fire Worms and a large Grouper.

As we went deeper down the reef I realized I hadn’t equalized once, usually, it takes me a while to get passed 5 – 6 meters as I always suffer from my right ear, at 16 meters I couldn’t believe how easy descending was still not needing to equalize – I didn’t feel any discomfort at all.

Perhaps the perforation fixed a problem I may have had I am not sure?  I was partially deaf at a very young age and had a couple of operations and had grommets inserted for a while. I have done 300+ dives and this was the most comfortable concerning my ears so I felt very relieved.

Diving After A Perforated Eardrum

3. Finishing The Dive

As we started to ascend I was wary about a reverse block but again nothing happened. Whilst diving I had my Project Aware net bag with me so collected some rubbish along the way, I didn’t collect much but it was lovely to see Merkanti Reef so clean. 

Jasper was a great buddy and I was happy to pose for a few photos so he could Play around with the different programs his camera offered and enhance any with his software later, I hope you like them.

Looking forward to my next dive but may do the Dry Suit Specialty again and freshen up on skills and buoyancy as it’s been at least 15 years since I dived in one. I want to visit the Um el Faroud again and being at 36 meters it will be too cold for a wetsuit at the moment so I need to find a member of staff brave enough to teach me. 

Diving After A Perforated Eardrum

Written By: Vivienne Whitehead

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