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Mask Squeeze

  • Medical Author: Scott D. Fell, DO, FAAEM
  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Wilderness: Face Squeeze Related Articles

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 for Mask Squeeze

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

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Scuba Diving

Barotrauma/Decompression Sickness Symptoms

  • External ear squeeze: Pain in your ear canal and blood from your ear
  • Middle ear squeeze: Ear fullness, pain, eardrum rupture,
  • Inner ear barotrauma: Feeling that your ear is full, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear, dizziness, and hearing loss
  • Sinus squeeze: Sinus pressure, pain, or nasal bleeding
  • Face mask squeeze: "Bloodshot" eyes and redness or bruising of the face under the mask
  • Lung squeeze: Chest pain, cough, bloody cough, and shortness of breath
  • ...
Reviewed on 11/20/2017
Sources: References

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