Mask Squeeze Definition and Overview
Mask squeeze (also called face squeeze) is a type of barotrauma that occurs when scuba diving as a result of failing to equalize the pressure inside the diving mask.
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 the pressure equalized in the mask is to exhale through the nose.
Mask Squeeze Symptoms
Mask squeeze symptoms include:
- Facial bruising and redness
- Facial pressure
- Red eyes or face
- Changes in vision (rare)
Mask Squeeze Treatment
Mask squeeze usually does not require any specific treatment and is self-limited. Some common treatment includes:
- 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.
- OTC pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may be taken for discomfort.
When to Seek Medical Care for Mask Squeeze
If changes in vision occur, see a doctor or eye specialist (ophthalmologist) as soon as possible.
Reviewed on 10/12/2021
Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, D.O.; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine
"DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions: Mask Squeeze." DiversAlertNetwork.org.