Hi Ryan ,
A couple of good years ago I hurt my left ear and never really gave it a chance to heal and kept diving. I carried on diving with a f***ed ear for a couple of months until I surfaced from one dive completely deaf.(left ear) I though it was water in the ear channel so I jumped around and … nothing, tried to dry it out with ear buds and … nothing! If I stood up to quick from a lying or sitting position I would get a head rush. Then I started to panic!!!! I eventually dragged my carcass to my doc three days later and he booked me off water sports for 3 months and sent me home. Dude … this was like taking a hippo from the water, got very bad tempered because of water depravation. I tried ear drops, vertigo tabs etc. and nothing worked, I was desperate man. I friend of mine told me of a homeopathic remedy (ginger tea), a couple of slices of fresh ginger root into boiling water, let it brew for a little while and that helped me recover from that fullness in the ear. It’s only obvious what I did next … yip you guessed it, into the water with a ear that now I could hardly ear from … yip you guessed again … messed it up good and solid as well as my right ear this time around, land up at the doc again where he very politely called be an ox and asked me if I had any sense? I was banned from all sort of diving except muff diving for six months so I took my frustration out on my off road bike in the velt. Ja that wasn’t too cool either, three sprained ankles in 6 months, many bruises, burns and scabs and I was eventually released into the water under my doc’s advice. My doc said it would be safer for me to get back into the water than for me to carry on riding my bike in the velt …
The ear trauma I suffered has left me with Tinnitus in both ears, I now listen to very loud music so I can subdue the constant ringing in my ears and get into bed when I’m about to pass out, otherwise the ringing keeps me awake.
So if you have suffered an ear barotrauma, go see your doc ASAP … Listen to what the man says and avoid tinnitus at all cost.
For decongestion, best is saline water, sniff it up to flush the sinuses. I was using a nasal spray … (no names) was very good and helped me quite a bit, however if used regularly, it caused me to have very mild nose bleeds (traces of blood in the mucus when I blew my nose), so I gave that one up too.
Good luck buddy.