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## Does Scuba Diving Cause Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common condition that causes a person to hear a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in their ears. It can be temporary or permanent, and can range in severity from mild to severe.

There are many possible causes of tinnitus, including exposure to loud noise, certain medications, earwax buildup, and certain medical conditions. Scuba diving is another potential cause of tinnitus.

### How Can Scuba Diving Cause Tinnitus?

Scuba diving can cause tinnitus in two main ways:

Barotrauma: This is a condition that occurs when there is a difference in pressure between the inside and outside of the ear. This can happen during ascent or descent when the diver does not equalize the pressure in their ears. Barotrauma can damage the eardrum or the inner ear, which can lead to tinnitus.
Noise-induced hearing loss: This is a gradual loss of hearing that can occur from exposure to loud noise. Scuba diving can expose divers to loud noise from the engine of the dive boat, the air compressor, and the bubbles from their own breathing apparatus. Over time, this exposure can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, which can lead to tinnitus.

### Symptoms of Tinnitus

The symptoms of tinnitus can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some people may only experience tinnitus occasionally, while others may experience it constantly. The sound of tinnitus can also vary, and can sound like a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking sound.

In addition to the sound in their ears, people with tinnitus may also experience other symptoms, such as:

Difficulty concentrating
Fatigue
Irritability
Anxiety
Depression

### Treatment for Tinnitus

There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are a number of treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms. These treatments include:

Tinnitus retraining therapy: This therapy teaches people with tinnitus to ignore the sound.
Sound therapy: This therapy uses white noise or other sounds to mask the sound of tinnitus.
Medication: Certain medications can help to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
Hearing aids: Hearing aids can help to amplify sound, which can make the sound of tinnitus less noticeable.

### Preventing Tinnitus from Scuba Diving

There are a number of things that scuba divers can do to help prevent tinnitus, including:

Equalizing the pressure in their ears: Divers should always equalize the pressure in their ears during ascent and descent. This can be done by pinching their nose and blowing gently into their ears.
Avoiding loud noise: Divers should avoid exposure to loud noise, such as the engine of the dive boat or the air compressor. If exposure to loud noise is unavoidable, divers should wear earplugs or ear muffs.
Taking breaks from diving: Divers should take breaks from diving if they experience any symptoms of tinnitus. This will give their ears a chance to rest and recover.

### Conclusion

Tinnitus is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including scuba diving. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are a number of treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms. Divers can help to prevent tinnitus by equalizing the pressure in their ears, avoiding loud noise, and taking breaks from diving if they experience any symptoms of tinnitus.

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