Author Topic: Ear popping / Ear barotrauma  (Read 1095 times)

tsirm

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Ear popping / Ear barotrauma
« on: September 15, 2012, 11:02:19 AM »
Ear barotrauma is discomfort,pain and damage in the ear due to pressure differences between the inside and outside of the eardrum.
Causes are:
The air pressure in the middle ear is usually the same as the air pressure outside of the body. The eustachian tube is a connection between the middle ear and the back of the nose and upper throat.Swallowing or yawning opens the eustachian tube and allows air to flow into or out of the middle ear, keeping the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum equal. If the eustachian tube is blocked, the air pressure in the middle ear is different than the pressure on the outside of the eardrum. This causes barotrauma.
Barotrauma commonly occurs with altitude changes, such as flying, scuba diving, or driving in the mountains. If you have a congested nose from allergies, colds, or an upper respiratory infection, you are more likely to develop barotrauma.
Blockage of the eustachian tube could also be present before birth (congenital), or it may occur because of swelling in the throat.
Symptoms are :
*Dizziness
*Ear discomfort or pain in one or both ears
*Slight Hearing loss
*Stuffiness in the ears
If the condition is severe or prolonged;Ear pain,Feeling of pressure in the ears (as if underwater),Severe hearing loss,Nosebleed can occur.
Possible Complications are Acute ear infection, Hearing loss, Ruptured or perforated eardrum, Vertigo.

Treatment:
-To relieve ear pain or discomfort, first try to open the eustachian tube and relieve the pressure.
-Chew gum/suck on candy
-Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut
-Yawn
-When flying, do not sleep during the descent. Use these frequently to open the eustachian tube. Allow infants and children to nurse or sip a drink during descent.
-Divers should descend and ascend slowly. It may be severe if you have allergies/respiratory infection.
-If the barotrauma is severe, you may need medical intervention.

Medications recommended may include:
-Antihistamines
-Decongestants taken by mouth or by a nose spray
-Steroids

Prevention
You can use nasal decongestants or antihistamines before altitude changes. Try to avoid altitude changes while you have an upper respiratory infection or allergy attack