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## Do Your Ears Hurt When Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating and rewarding activity that allows you to explore the underwater world. However, one of the most common complaints among scuba divers is ear pain. This pain can range from mild discomfort to severe agony, and it can make diving a very unpleasant experience.

There are a number of reasons why your ears may hurt when scuba diving. The most common cause is a change in pressure. When you dive down, the pressure of the water increases, and this pressure can cause your ears to feel plugged or painful.

Other causes of ear pain when scuba diving include:

Ear infection: An ear infection can cause your eardrum to become inflamed and swollen, which can make it more sensitive to changes in pressure.
Sinus infection: A sinus infection can block the Eustachian tubes, which are the tubes that connect your ears to your nose and throat. This blockage can prevent pressure from equalizing in your ears, which can lead to pain.
Allergic rhinitis: Allergic rhinitis can cause your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen, which can also block the Eustachian tubes.
Trauma: Trauma to your ears, such as from a blow to the head, can damage the eardrum or other structures in your ear, which can lead to pain.

## How to Prevent Ear Pain When Scuba Diving

There are a number of things you can do to prevent ear pain when scuba diving, including:

Equalize your ears frequently: Equalizing your ears is the process of opening your Eustachian tubes to allow pressure to equalize between your ears and the surrounding water. You can equalize your ears by swallowing, yawning, or performing the Valsalva maneuver.
Use earplugs: Earplugs can help to protect your ears from the pressure changes that occur when scuba diving.
Use a scuba diving mask with a nose pocket: A scuba diving mask with a nose pocket allows you to pinch your nose and blow air into your Eustachian tubes, which can help to equalize your ears.
Take a decongestant: A decongestant can help to reduce swelling in your nasal passages and Eustachian tubes, which can make it easier to equalize your ears.
Avoid diving if you have a cold or sinus infection: If you have a cold or sinus infection, your Eustachian tubes may be blocked, which can make it difficult to equalize your ears.

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## How to Treat Ear Pain When Scuba Diving

If you experience ear pain when scuba diving, there are a number of things you can do to relieve the pain, including:

Stop diving: If you experience severe ear pain, it is important to stop diving immediately. Continuing to dive with ear pain can lead to further damage to your ears.
Equalize your ears: Try to equalize your ears by swallowing, yawning, or performing the Valsalva maneuver.
Use a decongestant: A decongestant can help to reduce swelling in your nasal passages and Eustachian tubes, which can make it easier to equalize your ears.
Take pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to relieve ear pain.
See a doctor: If your ear pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment, see a doctor.

## Conclusion

Ear pain when scuba diving is a common problem, but it can be prevented and treated. By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of ear pain and enjoy your scuba diving experience.

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