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## Can You Go Scuba Diving with an Ear Infection?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved. One of the most common concerns is ear infections, which can cause pain, discomfort, and even serious health complications.

In this article, we’ll explore the risks of scuba diving with an ear infection, and provide guidance on what to do if you’re experiencing ear pain or discomfort while diving.

### What is an Ear Infection?

An ear infection is an inflammation or infection of the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria, viruses, or allergies.

Symptoms of an ear infection may include:

– Ear pain or discomfort
– Difficulty hearing
– Fluid discharge from the ear
– Fever
– Balance problems

### Risks of Scuba Diving with an Ear Infection

Diving with an ear infection can be dangerous because the increased pressure can put stress on the eardrum and cause it to rupture. This can lead to pain, bleeding, and hearing loss. In severe cases, a ruptured eardrum can also lead to infection of the middle ear or other complications.

In addition, an ear infection can make it difficult to equalize the pressure in your ears, which is essential for preventing decompression sickness. Decompression sickness is a serious diving injury that can occur when nitrogen bubbles form in the body’s tissues.

### What to Do If You Have an Ear Infection Before Diving

If you have an ear infection, it’s important to see a doctor before diving. Your doctor will be able to determine the cause of your infection and recommend the best course of treatment.

In most cases, you will need to take antibiotics to treat the infection. You should also avoid diving until your ear infection has cleared up completely.

### What to Do If You Develop an Ear Infection While Diving

If you develop an ear infection while diving, it’s important to stop diving immediately and ascend slowly to the surface. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and recommend that you rest your ears for a few days. You should also avoid diving until your ear infection has cleared up completely.

### How to Prevent Ear Infections Before Diving

There are a few things you can do to help prevent ear infections before diving:

– Be sure to equalize the pressure in your ears frequently while diving.
– Use earplugs or a hood to protect your ears from cold water.
– Dry your ears thoroughly after diving.
– Take a decongestant before diving if you have a history of ear infections.

### Conclusion

Scuba diving with an ear infection can be dangerous, so it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent infection. If you do develop an ear infection while diving, it’s important to stop diving immediately and seek medical attention.

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