Wilderness: Ear Squeeze (cont.)
Ear Squeeze Treatment
- Rest; avoid further dives, coughing, sneezing, bending, and attempts to equalize pressure in the ears.
- Pain may be relieved with 1-2 acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours and/or 1-2 ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) every 6-8 hours.
- Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) 30 mg tablets, 1 every 6 hours for 2-3 days, may relieve congestion. People with a history of high blood pressure or heart rhythm problems should avoid this product.
- Oral antibiotics are usually recommended for discharge from the ear, nose, or mouth. Tell the doctor of any drug allergy prior to starting any antibiotic. Some antibiotics can cause sensitivity to the sun, so use a sunscreen.
When to Seek Medical Care
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible if symptoms of ear squeeze are present.
- Consult a doctor about treatment with available medications.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery
MedscapeReference. Barotrauma in Emergency Medicine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/9/2015
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM