Ear barotrauma is a condition that causes ear discomfort due to pressure changes.
In each ear there is a tube that connects the middle of the ear to throat and nose. It also helps regulate ear pressure. This tube is called the eustachian tube. When the tube is blocked that's cause ear barotrauma.
Occasional ear barotrauma is common, especially in environments where the altitude changes. While the condition isn’t harmful in some people, frequent cases may cause further complications. It’s important to understand the differences between acute (occasional) and chronic (recurring) cases so you know when to seek medical treatment.
- general ear discomfort
- slight hearing loss or difficulty hearing
- stuffiness or fullness in the ear
If it progresses long enough without treatment or the case is particularly severe, symptoms may intensify. Additional symptoms that may occur in these cases include:
- ear pain
- feeling of pressure in the ears, as if you were underwater
- moderate to severe hearing loss or difficulty
- ear drum injury
Once treated, almost all symptoms will go away. Hearing loss from ear barotrauma is almost always temporary and reversible.
Eustachian tube blockage is one of the causes of ear barotrauma. The eustachian tube helps to restore equilibrium during changes in pressure. For example, yawning normally opens the eustachian tube. When the tube is blocked, symptoms develop because the pressure in the ear is different than the pressure outside of eardrum.
Altitude changes are the most common cause of this condition. One of the places many people experience ear barotrauma is during an airplane’s ascent or descent. The condition is sometimes referred to as airplane ear.
Other situations that might cause ear barotrauma include:
- scuba diving
- driving through mountains
Diving ear barotrauma
Diving is a common cause of ear barotrauma. When you go diving, you are in much more pressure underwater than on land. The first 14 feet of the dive is often the biggest risk for ear injury for divers. Symptoms typically develop immediately or soon after the dive.
Middle ear barotrauma is particularly common in divers, as the pressure underwater changes drastically.
To prevent ear barotrauma, descend slowly while diving.
Any issue that may block the eustachian tube puts you at risk for experiencing barotrauma. People who have allergies, colds, or active infections may be more likely to experience ear barotrauma.
Infants and young children are also at risk to this condition. A child’s eustachian tube is smaller and positioned differently than an adult’s and it may get blocked more easily. When babies and toddlers cry on an airplane during takeoff or landing, it’s often because they’re feeling the effects of ear barotrauma.
Ear barotrauma in infants
Infants and children are particularly susceptible to ear barotrauma. This is because their eustachian tubes are much smaller and straighter and therefore struggle more with equalization.
If infant is demonstrating signs of discomfort, distress, agitation, or pain while experiencing a change in altitude, it’s likely they’re experiencing ear barotrauma.
Ear barotrauma is usually temporary. However, complications may arise in some people, especially in chronic cases. If left untreated, this condition may cause:
- descend slowly while diving
- swallow, yawn, and chew when you feel symptoms of barotrauma, which can relieve symptoms
- exhale through your nose during an ascent in altitude
- avoid wearing earplugs while diving or flying
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. Ear barotrauma symptoms treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the complaints. Some important remedies are given below for Ear barotrauma symptoms treatment: