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Ear Pain, Scuba Diving (cont.)

Diving Ear Pain Symptoms

Pressure against the eardrum is responsible for the symptoms of ear squeeze. At low pressure, the diver has a feeling of fullness. As the pressure increases, the eardrum bulges inward, swells, and becomes painful.

If high pressure ruptures the eardrum, air bubbles may be felt coming from the ear and the pain may lessen. However, as the cold water then enters the middle ear through the hole in the eardrum, the diver may become nauseated or vomit. The diver may also become disoriented or have a sensation of spinning (vertigo).

Upon returning to the surface, the diver may feel fluid draining out of the ear if the eardrum has been ruptured. Rarely, a one-sided facial paralysis may be associated with ear squeeze.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/6/2016

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