Barotrauma Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Barotrauma Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Barotrauma Understanding

Barotrauma is ear damage due to the difference in ear pressure with outside air pressure. This condition often occurs in people who are traveling by plane, or diving ( scuba diving ).

When you are in a plane at high altitude or when you are in the depths of the sea when diving, there is a sudden change in air pressure. If the ear does not adapt quickly, then barotrauma will occur.

In fact, barotrauma not only injures the ears, but can also injure the lungs. However, the ear is an organ that is more often traumatized due to this pressure difference.

Barotrauma Cause

Barotrauma is caused by an extreme and sudden difference between the air pressure outside and the air pressure inside the ear. This causes damage to the ear, which can be in the form of damage to the outer, middle, or inner ear.

This condition is more likely to be experienced by:

  • People who dive and travel by plane in a layover of less than 24 hours
  • People who are often in flights, for example pilots and flight attendants
  • People who dive several times a day

Barotrauma Diagnosis

The doctor will perform a physical examination accompanied by digging up information about the history of traveling by plane or diving, and ear complaints at those times.

The information is generally sufficient to be able to determine the diagnosis of barotrauma. In addition, the doctor can also perform hearing tests and balance tests.

Barotrauma Symptoms

A person suffering from barotauma will, among other things, feel ear sensations such as blockage, pain in the ear, disturbed hearing, or ringing in the ears. In extreme cases, blood can come out of the ear.

In addition to complaints in the ears, barotrauma can also cause complaints of spinning or floating sensation (medically called vertigo ).

Barotrauma Treatment

Barotrauma that occurs in the middle ear can generally be overcome with anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids) and administration of decongestant drugs to balance ear pressure and external air pressure. When the inner ear is affected, the treatment depends on the part of the ear that is affected, but usually, the sufferer needs to be treated in a hospital.

In severe conditions or barotrauma affecting the lungs, hyperbaric therapy treatment is required. Hyperbaric therapy is a treatment by breathing pure oxygen in high-pressure air.

Barotrauma Prevention

To prevent barotrauma, the eustachian tube (the tube that connects the ear with the nose and the outside air) must be open so that the pressure inside the ear and the outside air pressure are balanced.

The eustachian tube is vulnerable to being closed when someone has a cold or stuffy nose. Therefore, to prevent barotrauma, avoid traveling by plane when you have a cold or stuffy nose. If the flight cannot be avoided, then first consume antidecongestant and antihistamine to open the eustachian tube.

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