Barotrauma means injury to your body because of changes in barometric (air) or water pressure. One common type happens to your ear. A change in altitude may cause your ears to hurt. This can happen if you are flying in an airplane, driving in the mountains, or scuba diving. Divers can also get decompression sickness, which affects the whole body.
Common symptoms of ear barotrauma include
- A feeling that your ears are stuffed
- Hearing loss
Treatments for ear barotrauma include chewing gum and yawning to relieve the pressure. Medications such as decongestants may also help.
- Airplane Ear (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Ear - blocked at high altitudes Available in Spanish
- Ear barotrauma Available in Spanish
- Ears and Altitude (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- Flying and Your Child's Ears (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Flying with Baby (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish
- Scuba Diving Safety (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Travelers' Health: Scuba Diving (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Barotrauma (National Institutes of Health)