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## Does Scuba Diving Hurt Your Ears?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it can also be uncomfortable if you don’t take the necessary precautions to protect your ears. The water pressure at depth can cause pain and even damage to your eardrums if you don’t equalize the pressure in your ears.

### What Causes Ear Pain While Scuba Diving?

The pain you feel in your ears while scuba diving is caused by the difference in pressure between the water outside of your ear and the air inside of your ear. As you descend, the water pressure increases, and the air in your ear becomes compressed. This can cause the eardrum to bulge and put pressure on the small bones in your ear, which can lead to pain.

### How to Equalize the Pressure in Your Ears

The best way to prevent ear pain while scuba diving is to equalize the pressure in your ears before you descend. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common is the Valsalva maneuver. To perform the Valsalva maneuver, simply pinch your nose closed, close your mouth, and gently blow until you feel your ears pop.

If the Valsalva maneuver doesn’t work, you can try the Toynbee maneuver. To perform the Toynbee maneuver, swallow while pinching your nose closed and keeping your mouth closed. This should also help to equalize the pressure in your ears.

### Other Tips for Preventing Ear Pain While Scuba Diving

In addition to equalizing the pressure in your ears, there are a few other things you can do to help prevent ear pain while scuba diving.

* **Use earplugs.** Earplugs can help to keep water out of your ears and reduce the pressure on your eardrums.
* **Take a decongestant.** If you have a cold or allergies, taking a decongestant can help to open up your sinuses and make it easier to equalize the pressure in your ears.
* **Ascend slowly.** When you ascend, the water pressure decreases, and the air in your ear will expand. If you ascend too quickly, this can cause the eardrum to rupture.
* **See a doctor.** If you experience severe ear pain while scuba diving, it’s important to see a doctor. You may have a more serious condition, such as a barotrauma, which can require treatment.

### Conclusion

Ear pain is a common problem for scuba divers, but it can be easily prevented by taking the necessary precautions. By equalizing the pressure in your ears before you descend, using earplugs, taking a decongestant, and ascending slowly, you can help to prevent ear pain and make your scuba diving experience more enjoyable.

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