Ear barotrauma

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Ear barotrauma is a medical condition where the inner eardrum air pressure is different than outside air pressure. The Eustachian tube connects the throat, back of the nose and upper throat. Any pressure caused in these areas could cause barotrauma to develop. Causes of this disorder could include a change in air pressure while flying, deep sea diving or driving at high altitudes. Medical conditions such as allergies, colds or other upper respiratory infections may encourage the development of this ear disorder.[1] Blast injuries can also cause barotrauma.[2]There was a single reported case of barotrauma caused by riding a roller coaster.[3]

Symptoms

Symptoms may include dizziness, hearing loss, a sense of fullness in the ear, ear pain, feeling of pressure in the ears, moderate to severe hearing loss and nosebleeds.

Treatment

At home care could include chewing gum, sucking on candy or yawning. Medical treatment could include prescribing antihistamines, decongestants or steroids. Surgery is rarely required but if need a myringotomy where ear tubes are inserted can be performed. This surgery is common for children and used in adults when required.[4]

References

  1. Ear barotrauma. Retrieved on 2011-05-31.
  2. Peters, P. Primary blast injury: an intact tympanic membrane does not indicate the lack of a pulmonary blast injury. Retrieved on 2011-05-31.
  3. Al-Khudari, S; Loochtan M, Yaremchuk K.. Roller coaster-induced barotrauma. Retrieved on 2011-05-31.
  4. Ear tube insertion. Retrieved on 2011-05-31.