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Mask Squeeze

Mask Squeeze Definition and Overview

Mask squeeze, also known as face squeeze is a feeling that occurs when scuba diving as a result of failing to equalize the pressure inside the diving mask. As a diver descends under the surface of the water, the pressure increases, which exerts pressure on the body. The air in the mask has more pressure put on it, and therefore becomes painful against the face unless the pressure is allowed to equalize. The way to keep pressure equalized in the mask is to exhale through the nose.

Mask Squeeze Symptoms

  • Facial bruising and redness
  • Facial pressure
  • Nosebleed
  • Red eyes or face
  • Changes in vision (rare)

Mask Squeeze Treatment

If a person experiences a mask squeeze, that person should discontinue diving until healed. Mask squeeze can be prevented by equalizing the pressure in the mask as the diver descends on their dive.

When to Seek Medical Care

If changes in vision occur, see a doctor or eye specialist as soon as possible.

Synonyms and Keywords

face squeeze, facial pain,scuba diving, ring around the face, vacuum effect, bruise, subconjunctival hemorrhage, scuba diving injury

Author and Editor

Author: Scott D. Fell, DO, FAAEM

Editor: Charles P. Davis, MD, PhD

REFERENCE: DAN.org. Mask Squeeze.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/22/2013
Medical Author:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dysbarism »

Although dysbarism includes problems associated with high altitude and aerospace endeavors, dysbarism also relates to the increasing pressures of descending under water that are usually experienced in free or assisted dives.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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