What Causes Ear Squeeze?
- Ear squeeze is the adverse effects of pressure changes on the ear that can occur with scuba diving or with altitude changes that create differences in pressure between the internal ear spaces and the external ear canal.
- Scuba diving and altitude changes can affect the external ear, middle ear, and inner ear.
- Ear problems are commonly caused by
- If symptoms of ear squeeze begin at depth, they can be very dangerous for the diver.
- Descent of plane during landing.
What is the Treatment for Ear Squeeze?
- Rest; avoid further dives or flights, coughing, sneezing, bending, and attempts to equalize pressure in the ears.
- For air travel, preflight decongestants and swallowing, yawning, or chewing may relieve pressure
- 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.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
MedscapeReference. Barotrauma in Emergency Medicine.