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Barotrauma/Decompression Sickness (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

There is no special treatment for face mask and suit squeezes. They usually go away in a few days.

Aerogastralgia symptoms usually clear up on their own and do not require attention unless the abdominal discomfort continues to worsen and does not go away in a few hours.

Pain from ear or sinus squeezes can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). The patient should visit a doctor to exclude possible serious ear injuries.

Medications

Sinus squeezes usually require oral and nasal decongestants. Antibiotics are usually recommended for a squeeze involving the frontal sinuses. Pain medication may also be prescribed.

Ear squeezes also require decongestants, both oral and long-acting nasal types. Antibiotics may be given if the patient had a rupture, a previous infection, or the diving occurred in polluted waters. Pain medication also may be prescribed.

Follow-up

Doctors will recommend follow-up based on the diagnosis.

Make sure everything has healed and the patient has received clearance before diving again.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2014

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