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Ear Pain, Scuba Diving (cont.)


Prevention is the preferred treatment for ear squeeze.

  • Divers who are unable to clear their ears or experience ear pain should stop their descent and abort the dive.
  • Divers clear their ears by several methods. The most common is plugging the nose, closing the mouth, and blowing. This increases the pressure in the mouth and throat and pushes the Eustachian tubes open.
  • Divers should equalize their ears early and often when descending.
  • Diving should not be attempted if any sinus or upper respiratory symptoms are present.


  • Most ear pain with scuba diving will go away by itself usually within a week without long-term effects.

  • Eardrum ruptures usually heal themselves over longer periods of time but sometimes require surgical repair.

  • Facial paralysis, if present, most often is temporary.

  • Mild hearing loss may continue.

Last Editorial Review: 7/18/2008

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