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## Barotrauma: Trouble Clearing Ears After Scuba Diving

When you scuba dive, the pressure of the water on your body increases with depth. This pressure can cause the air in your middle ear to become compressed, and the Eustachian tube, which connects your middle ear to your nasal cavity, to close. If you cannot clear the pressure in your ears, you may experience ear pain, hearing loss, or even a ruptured eardrum.

There are a number of different ways to clear your ears while scuba diving. The most common method is to perform the Valsalva maneuver, which involves pinching your nose closed and blowing gently. This can help to open the Eustachian tube and allow the air to escape from your middle ear.

Other methods of clearing your ears include:

The Frenzel maneuver: This involves swallowing while pinching your nose closed.
The Toynbee maneuver: This involves swallowing and moving your jaw forward and backward.
The Edmonds maneuver: This involves swallowing and tilting your head back.

If you are unable to clear your ears after several attempts, you should ascend to a shallower depth and try again. If you are still having trouble, you should consult with a doctor.

### Symptoms of Ear Barotrauma

The symptoms of ear barotrauma can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms may include:

Ear pain
Hearing loss
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Vertigo (dizziness)

More severe symptoms may include:

Ruptured eardrum
Bleeding from the ear
Facial paralysis

### Treatment for Ear Barotrauma

The treatment for ear barotrauma depends on the severity of the symptoms. Mild symptoms can usually be treated at home with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe symptoms may require medical treatment, such as antibiotics or surgery.

### Prevention of Ear Barotrauma

There are a number of things you can do to prevent ear barotrauma, including:

Equalizing the pressure in your ears frequently while diving.
Ascending slowly and taking breaks at regular intervals.
Avoiding diving if you have a cold or sinus infection.
Using earplugs or a nose clip while diving.

If you have any concerns about ear barotrauma, you should consult with a doctor before scuba diving.

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