- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
Ear Barotrauma: Causes and Symptoms
It is a condition that causes ear discomfort due to pressure changes. In each ear, there is a tube that connects the middle of your ear to your throat and nose. It also helps regulate ear pressure. This tube is called the Eustachian tube. When the tube is blocked, you may experience ear barotrauma.
It is common in environments where the altitude changes.
Eustachian tube blockage is one of the causes of ear barotrauma. When the tube is blocked, symptoms develop because the pressure in the ear is different than the pressure outside of your eardrum.
• Uncomfortable pressure inside the ear
• General ear discomfort
• Slight hearing loss or difficulty hearing
• Stuffiness or fullness in the ear
Additional symptoms that may occur in these cases include:
• Ear pain
• The feeling of pressure in the ears, as if you were underwater
• Moderate to severe hearing loss or difficulty
• Eardrum injury
It may go away on its own, you should contact a doctor if symptoms include significant pain or bleeding from the ear. It can be detected by a physical exam. A close look inside the ear with an otoscope can often reveal changes in the eardrum.
Most cases of ear barotrauma generally heal without medical intervention.
You may help relieve the effects of air pressure on ears by:
• Chewing gum
• Practicing breathing exercises
• Taking antihistamines or decongestants
In severe or chronic cases of barotrauma, surgery may be the best option for treatment. Chronic cases of ear barotrauma may be aided with the help of ear tubes.
The second surgical option involves a tiny slit being made into the eardrum to better allow pressure to equalize. This can also remove any fluid that’s present in the middle ear. The slit will heal quickly, and may not be a permanent solution.
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