URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/barotrauma.html


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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

  • Pain
  • A feeling that your ears are stuffed
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness

Treatments for ear barotrauma include chewing gum and yawning to relieve the pressure. Medications such as decongestants may also help.

Related Issues

Specific Conditions

  • Airplane Ear (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Ears and Altitude (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

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