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DiveGirl55 - 6/27/2008 8:35 AM
Category: General
Replies: 17

Okay, last month in Cozumel I did my 2-3 dives a day, and showered, got dressed and went into town. The first store I got to, I am shopping and all of a sudden my nose drips (or more like pours) water all over the floor! So I got a tissue and proceeded to shop. At the register, it pours again and I had to apologize to the lady behind the counter, I told her I didn’t know what was going on! This repeated for at least another hour and several more stores.

This wasn’t JUST a little post nasal drip thing, NOR was it mucus. It was salt water, running out in tablespoons (literally) out onto the floor! I mean WTF???

Is this NORMAL? Or is salt water getting trapped (in perhaps something more serious like a sinus blockage) and then coming out hours later? How did it get there, when I had a MASK on?

Has anyone else had this happen to them?
seawolfdiving - 6/27/2008 9:30 AM
Wow. Sounds like you have a leak somewhere. Water can get in to your sinuses either through your nasal passages, by inhaleing through your mouth, or in very rare and unlikely cases through a ruptured ear drum where it travels through the eustacian tube to the throat and then is inhaled (as I said, very unlikely).

I would check for leaks in your mask or possibaly in your regulators second stage (mouth piece or diaphram)
seawolfdiving - 6/27/2008 12:56 PM
One other thought comes to mind. Were you using rental tanks? Sometimes tanks that are not properly filled or maintained can accumulate moisture inside. If the tank valve was not properly installed, that moisture can pass through the regulator and then it is inhaled by the diver.

MDW - 6/27/2008 2:05 PM
Maybe your bladder was too full from the problem you describe in your other post, and the fluid had to come out somewhere. 8-)

Sorry, but it just struck me as funny when I thought about how you posted about two unrelated problems, but both involved the expusion (or non-expulsion) of fluids.

Seriously, though, I have had a similar issue with my ears. Water has suddenly come out in volume several hours after surfacing. It is a little more obvious how the water would get in an ear than a nose, but the point is that it can stay in there quite a while before draining. In combination with the other theory on drainage from ear to sinus and out nose, this could be what is happening to you. Another way could be that the nose pocket of your mask is flooding a little and the water makes its way up the nose.

I find the water in your breathing gas unlikely as the cause, since mouth breathing does not go through the sinuses, nor is it likely that enough humidity could build up to cause that much water to accumulate.
Greg - 6/27/2008 2:30 PM
That has never happened to me. I’ve never heard of that before. You should contact DAN and see what they have to say about it. Post their response here.
SeaGoat - 6/27/2008 7:47 PM
I heard about that happening to a little boy a few weeks ago. It was on the internet news - Fox and CNN.

Anyways, he had been swimming and came home with water coming out of his nose. He went to bed later that night and drowned while he was in bed because he still had water in his lungs. I think the medical term for it is something like "secondary drowning".

Not like I’m trying to scare you but do be careful.
seawolfdiving - 6/28/2008 12:31 AM
I have querried several sources about your situation. These include DAN, several prominant physicians who are also divers, and an E,N,T who also is a diver.

Perhaps I can find an answer for you. However, since it has been some time since the occurance, and since ( I assume,) there are no other ill-effects experienced, there is "apparently" no immediate reason for concern.

If you are experiencing any other ill-effects or if you are still concerned, then I recommend contacting DAN or your local Ear, Nose. & Throat (ENT) specialist for referal.

I hope that everything works out well for you.


Seawolf sends/
DiveGirl55 - 6/28/2008 2:58 AM
I did use a rental tank.

I did get a little water in my mask, but would that really crawl that far up my nose and then be retained for that long after the initial dive? It would seem like it would come out as soon as I was on the boat with my mask off?!

...I mean, I am no scientist! lol
GypsyDiver - 6/28/2008 10:37 AM
I think we need to get a doctor just to follow you around. Just to be on the safe side!! I think you might want to talk to a professional just to be sure nothing is really wrong.
stitches - 6/29/2008 1:41 PM
I have had simular problem, Will have large amounts of water pour from my nose after snorkling, much more then when diving. It is due to my breathing from mouth and nose at same time. water pools in mask nose cavity and is drawn up into sinus cavities untill the dive ends. after dive I will just lean over and slightly blow out to release water. I have to always be more aware of my breathing and focus on pulling thru regulator. I got a new mask, and the problem is much less. I have had my nose broken, and have a deviated septum which could add to the problem, not sure though. It is kinda anoying when out, and about. The first time I had a real problem was after a long period of snorkling in Jamacia. I came up on the beach, and the amount of water pouring out my nose would make you think I was drowning. well at least I’m not alone with the problem. Hope you solve it. Hope this helps.
Bobo - 6/29/2008 7:29 PM
yea anytime I roll over on my back I get allot of water at the end of a dive, or if I hit deeper than 70 ft.

i just go about my day and havea rag ready.
NWKatShark - 6/29/2008 8:33 PM
It’s happened to me numerous times in the past, at inconvenient times. No biggie, nasal passage blockages due to pressure. Breathing dry air through a reg can dry out sinuses and the mucus therein, it creates "dams". Later, as things loosen up, Niagara kicks in.

Try to time it when you’re trying to get out of a long boring conversation......
seawolfdiving - 6/30/2008 12:32 PM
The following response was received from DAN concerning your situation:
"Most likely this dripping was coming our of this lady’s sinus cavities. The paranasal sinuses are a complex of 4 groups of interconnected sinuses. And some of them might have a considerable volume, being the maxillary sinus the more voluminous by far. Other sinuses are more irregular in shapes and sizes and are sometimes formed not by a single cavity but by a small number of small interconnected cavities (e.g. ethmoidal or sphenoidal sinuses). All in all, they might be able to pool a substantial amount of fluids. Now whether this young lady’s drip was sea water or a waterish secretion, that we certainly won’t know. Keep in mind that this waterish secretion might be indistinguishable from sea water, since its salinity might just be about the same, and its viscosity will depend on the amount of mucus. Now in reality, most likely it was a combination of both. Being sea water irritative to the mucous membranes, hence secretion might have been highly stimulated.
Of course, this is just a mere interpretation, but might well be a reasonable explanation too."
Please let us know if we could be of any further help.
Matías Nochetto, MD
DAN Medic al Services Department
Latin America Medic al Coordinator
mnochetto [ at ]
(+1 919) 684 2948 x235
Toll Free +1 800 446 2671 x235
6 West Colony Place
Durham, NC. 27705 USA"
DiveGirl55 - 7/01/2008 9:32 PM
Thank you your wonderful bedside manners!

scubabrad - 7/02/2008 9:10 AM
Hi, my brother is a surfer and everytime he goes surfing he gets water in his sinuses that ends up draining as you are describing. did you do any other swimming w/o a mask on that day ? I wouldn’t be too worried.

best, B
georoc01 - 7/02/2008 3:34 PM
I did snorkeling once in Isla Majeres.

After getting out of the water, we were shopping in town and I had it pouring out like you did. It certainly was an isolated incident, and I don’t know what caused it. This was 5 years ago and has never happened again.
Eve - 7/02/2008 4:18 PM
Okay let me get this straight, you want to dive nude and you are trying to figure out how to pee in the ocean and yet you have water coming from your nose. Hummmm, only kidding : ) it has happened to my husband, after diving and then taking a warm shower it appears as if the warm shower opened up his sinus cavities and caused the water to run out that he got trapped in the cavities while diving. He is fine and was fine right afterwards. Do not worry too much, just stay aware of things like that. I guess if a thing concerns you enough then seek medical advise.

sps3006 - 7/02/2008 10:11 PM
One thing the DAN Dr. didn’t mention is the shift of fluids in the tissues. Water goes to salt. A little hypertonic saline in the sinuses will cause an osmosis of fluids into the sinuses from the surrounding tissue..... the body always trys to reach a state of balance. So you don’t have to get a lot of salt water into your sinuses to expel a larger amount over a period of time.