The Otovent Dive was devised from the original Otovent which was developed and launched in 1993 by Kestrel Medical to help people suffering from glue ear.
Realising the potential for the Otovent to help glue ear in adults as well as children, as well as helping people deal with pressure changes during flying (plus the fact that the Otovent was already being used as an equalisation aid for freedivers and scuba divers), the development team decided to market the Otovent towards divers and diving.
The principle of the product remains the same, with the nose plug and balloons, however with slightly different size and strength balloons and different packaging.
As many freedivers will attest (myself included), equalising correctly can be one of the most difficult aspects of learning to freedive. Most freedivers are limited not by breath hold or physical ability, but by their ability to move tiny amounts of air through their eustachian tubes to equalise the middle ear. In addition, a baratrauma (pressure related injury) can keep you out of the water weeks, sometimes months and so we want to make sure we always equalise correctly and often enough. Any equalisation aid for freedivers that is available in my opinion should be utilised if you do not find equalisation easy and automatic.
It is a very simple device, and because it works as a visual aid it can also help the user, as well as any instructor, identify whether the user is performing the Frenzel equalisation technique correctly. Mastering the technique of inflating the device is a great indicator as to whether the user is ‘on the right tracks’ in terms of learning to use their tongue to equalise.
When learning the Frenzel, the balloon will inflate when the back of the tongue is engaged, creating positive pressure in the mouth and nose. And because the balloons provided in the kit are pressurised, this encourages the Eustachian tubes of the ear to open when inflated via the nose.
Each kit contains:
1 x nostril piece
3 x pressurised balloons
1 x carry case
Replacement balloons can be purchased too.
For further information regarding how to use the Otovent Dive, please read our article, here:
Also watch this video: