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## How to Prevent Inner Ear Barotrauma Scuba Diving

Inner ear barotrauma is a painful condition that can occur when the pressure in the middle ear (the air-filled space behind the eardrum) is not equal to the pressure in the surrounding environment. This can happen when you scuba dive, as the pressure of the water increases as you descend.

If the pressure in the middle ear does not equalize with the pressure in the surrounding environment, the eardrum can be pushed inward or outward. This can cause pain, hearing loss, and dizziness. In severe cases, inner ear barotrauma can even lead to permanent hearing loss.

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

### Equalizing the Pressure in Your Ears

The most important thing you can do to prevent inner ear barotrauma is to equalize the pressure in your ears as you descend. You can do this by swallowing, yawning, or using a Valsalva maneuver.

To perform a Valsalva maneuver, pinch your nose closed and blow gently. This will force air into the middle ear and equalize the pressure.

### Descending Slowly

Descending slowly will give your ears time to adjust to the increasing pressure. Try to descend at a rate of no more than 30 feet per minute.

### Taking Breaks

If you are feeling any pain or discomfort in your ears, stop descending and take a break. Allow your ears to equalize before continuing your dive.

### Using Earplugs

Earplugs can help to protect your ears from the pressure of the water. However, it is important to use earplugs that are specifically designed for scuba diving. Regular earplugs can trap water in the ear canal, which can increase your risk of infection.

### Avoiding Diving if You Have a Cold or Congestion

If you have a cold or congestion, do not scuba dive. The swelling in your sinuses and Eustachian tubes can make it difficult to equalize the pressure in your ears.

## Treatment for Inner Ear Barotrauma

If you experience inner ear barotrauma, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms. In some cases, you may need to take antibiotics or use ear drops to treat an infection. In more severe cases, you may need surgery to repair a damaged eardrum.

## Conclusion

Inner ear barotrauma is a serious condition that can have permanent consequences. However, it can be prevented by following the tips outlined in this article. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your ears while scuba diving, stop descending and take a break. Allow your ears to equalize before continuing your dive.

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