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## How to Unblock Ears After Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a great way to explore the underwater world, but it can sometimes lead to ear problems. The pressure changes that occur during diving can cause the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of the throat, to become blocked. This can lead to pain, hearing loss, and even infection.

### Symptoms of Blocked Ears After Scuba Diving

The symptoms of blocked ears after scuba diving can vary depending on the severity of the blockage. Some common symptoms include:

* Pain in the ear
* Hearing loss
* Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
* Feeling of fullness in the ear
* Dizziness

### Causes of Blocked Ears After Scuba Diving

The Eustachian tubes are normally open, but they can become blocked by mucus, fluid, or tissue. When the Eustachian tubes are blocked, the pressure in the middle ear cannot equalize with the pressure in the outside environment. This can cause the eardrum to bulge outward and the middle ear to fill with fluid.

### Treatment for Blocked Ears After Scuba Diving

The treatment for blocked ears after scuba diving depends on the severity of the blockage. Some common treatments include:

* **Valsalva maneuver:** The Valsalva maneuver is a technique that can help to open the Eustachian tubes. To perform the Valsalva maneuver, pinch your nose closed and blow gently out of your nose.
* **Toynbee maneuver:** The Toynbee maneuver is another technique that can help to open the Eustachian tubes. To perform the Toynbee maneuver, swallow while pinching your nose closed.
* **Otovent:** Otovent is a device that can help to open the Eustachian tubes. The Otovent device is inserted into the ear and a bulb is squeezed to create a vacuum. This vacuum helps to open the Eustachian tubes.
* **Nasal decongestants:** Nasal decongestants can help to reduce swelling in the Eustachian tubes. Nasal decongestants are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
* **Antihistamines:** Antihistamines can help to reduce allergies, which can lead to swelling in the Eustachian tubes. Antihistamines are available over-the-counter or by prescription.

### Prevention of Blocked Ears After Scuba Diving

There are a few things you can do to help prevent blocked ears after scuba diving:

* **Equalize frequently:** Equalizing is the process of balancing the pressure in your middle ear with the pressure in the outside environment. You should equalize frequently when diving, especially when you are descending or ascending.
* **Use a nasal decongestant or antihistamine before diving:** If you are prone to allergies or sinus problems, you may want to use a nasal decongestant or antihistamine before diving. This can help to reduce swelling in the Eustachian tubes and prevent them from becoming blocked.
* **Avoid diving if you have a cold or sinus infection:** If you have a cold or sinus infection, you should avoid diving. Diving with a cold or sinus infection can increase your risk of developing blocked ears.

### When to See a Doctor

If you have blocked ears after scuba diving that does not improve with home treatment, you should see a doctor. The doctor may need to perform a physical examination and order some tests to determine the cause of the blockage. The doctor may also prescribe medication or recommend further treatment.

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