## Does Scuba Diving Make Tinnitus Worse?

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of sound in the ears or head without an external source. It can be a temporary or chronic condition and can range in severity from mild to severe.

Scuba diving is a popular recreational activity that involves submerging oneself in water and breathing compressed air. While scuba diving can be a safe and enjoyable activity, it can also pose certain risks to the ears, including tinnitus.

How Scuba Diving Can Affect the Ears

When you scuba dive, the pressure on your ears increases as you descend deeper into the water. This pressure can cause the eardrum to bulge inward and the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat, to close.

If the Eustachian tube is unable to open and equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outside environment, it can lead to a condition called barotrauma. Barotrauma can cause pain, damage to the eardrum, and tinnitus.

Factors that Increase the Risk of Tinnitus from Scuba Diving

There are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing tinnitus from scuba diving, including:

Rapid ascent or descent
Not equalizing the pressure in your ears properly
Having a history of ear problems
Diving in cold water
Diving for long periods of time

Symptoms of Tinnitus from Scuba Diving

The symptoms of tinnitus from scuba diving can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Ringing in the ears
Buzzing or hissing sounds
Clicking or popping sounds
Difficulty hearing
Dizziness

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Treatment for Tinnitus from Scuba Diving

The treatment for tinnitus from scuba diving depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, the tinnitus may resolve on its own within a few days or weeks. In other cases, treatment may be necessary to reduce the symptoms.

Treatment options for tinnitus from scuba diving may include:

Medications to reduce inflammation and pain
Ear drops to help clear the Eustachian tube
Surgery to repair a damaged eardrum

Preventing Tinnitus from Scuba Diving

There are a number of things you can do to prevent tinnitus from scuba diving, including:

Equalize the pressure in your ears frequently and properly
Avoid diving if you have a history of ear problems
Dive in warm water
Dive for shorter periods of time
Use earplugs or a hood to help protect your ears from the cold

Conclusion

Scuba diving can be a safe and enjoyable activity, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks to your ears, including tinnitus. By taking steps to prevent tinnitus, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable scuba diving experience.

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