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About the Author More ArticlesAbout Kira FuruichiKira Furuichi is currently a sophomore at Culver City High School in Los Angeles, California. When scuba divers descend into the depths of the water, they may experience a condition commonly called “ear squeeze.”  This happens because the pressure in the middle ear and the outside atmosphere differ. The eustachian tubes are small, narrow-sloped canals connecting the middle ear cavity to the nasopharynx (back of the nose). This tube will open when pressure in the middle ear gets too high, thereby allowing air to enter the ear and lowering the pressure in the ear.  This protects the eardrum from rupturing. However, due to copious amounts of water that enter the ear canal and cause an increase of pressure in the ear, the eustachian tubes may not open, forcing the eardrum to turn inward, often causing pain and inflammation of the ear drum.
However, if divers continue to dive and ignore the pain in their ears, the eardrum may rupture. Immediately stop their dive if they feel pain in their ears or cannot clear their ears out while on a dive.


The eustachian tubes are very small structures within the head that can often cause big problems. In an ideal situation, the eustachian tube should be able to open and close on demand to meet whatever activity you happen to be engaged in and whatever pressure changes are necessary. Additionally, some patients have scarring of the eustachian tube or are otherwise born with a smaller eustachian tube or one that does not respond as effectively. If the eustachian tube is not able to pressurize the ear as effectively, patients suffer from sensation of fluid in the ears accompanied with occasional sound of the fluid moving around, as well as issues with reversible type of hearing loss.
The treatment for eustachian tube disorder could involve watchful waiting until the body’s natural immune system mechanisms take over, versus trial of medicines to assist in more rapid decongestion of the eustachian tube, or surgical intervention in the form of myringotomy (making an incision into the ear drum) in order to more expeditiously drain the ears. When checked, Shutterstock's safe search screens restricted content and excludes it from your search results. The pressure of the outside environment is higher and therefore pushes inwards on the eardrum, which feels like squeezing of the ear.  This is a normal phenomenon and does not cause injury unless ear pressure does not equalize.


It is designed to provide reliable medical information in a format that is easy to understand. She researched and wrote this article as part of the Student Mentorship Program through the Osborne Head and Neck Foundation. In those cases, the eardrum may rupture and cause severe symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
As Chief of Medical Resources, I hold an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and a graduate degree in Medical Science from the University of Southern California.




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