popped facial blood vessels

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by xsbeech, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. xsbeech

    xsbeech Angel Fish

    Hello all -

    Today my husband returned from a day of diving with popped blood vessels below and around his eyes, as well as on his eyelids.

    Any idea why this was caused and how to prevent it?

  2. saltwater taffy

    saltwater taffy Barracuda

    I would imagine that it is from his mask being too tight or the fact that he did not vent his mask when he was descending. Many divers have this and bloody noses. If it persists, see an ENT doc.

    Be safe,
  3. xsbeech

    xsbeech Angel Fish

    Thanks a lot - he actually did have some nose bleeds today -take care

  4. Laurence Stein DDS

    Laurence Stein DDS Medical Moderator

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Miami, Florida
    Very likely a mask squeeze. As you descend, you have to allow a little air into your mask (through your nose). If not it will be pressed tightly against your face as a relative vacuum is generated between the outside water pressure and the partially equalized pressure within the space enclosed by the mask. This can cause small vessels to rupture leading to bruising, black eyes, ruptured vessels of the sclera of the eye and nose bleeds.

    It is most likely a technique problem but could happen if there is nasal congestion which prohibits air from passing through the nose into the mask space.

    A tight mask might result in some burst vessels under the mask skirt but there is probably no mask tight enough to really cause a "reverse mask squeeze" that wouldn't be so uncomfortable that you wouldn't adjust the mask first...probably before the dive. The air under that mask is going to vent out whether you want it to or not.


    Larry Stein

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