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Treatment of barotrauma

What is ear and sinus barotrauma?

Barotrauma is a pressure injury to sinuses and ears caused by a shock wave in the form of a strong blast of air or a significant and sudden change in pressure in the surrounding environment.

Prevention and symptoms of barotrauma

A large pressure difference significantly affects our body and creates the danger of barotrauma. People who practice aviation and water sports, such as skydiving, hang gliding, ballooning, scuba diving and surfing, are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury. Therefore, it is worthwhile for these people to take care of prevention: lack of proper ventilation, caused by a deviated septum or other disorders causing obstruction of the tubes connecting sinuses with the nasal cavity, blocks spontaneous equalization of pressure in ears and sinuses and may lead to barotrauma.

When ear barotrauma occurs, it results in damage to the structures of the inner ear and manifests as severe pain, dizziness, and imbalance. Barotrauma usually involves frontal sinuses. The symptom is excruciating pain in the frontal area, as well as extravasation of blood into the sinus cavity. A dangerous complication of sinus barotrauma can be infection and abscess formation, which often results in the spread of bacteria through the cavernous sinus into the central nervous system. Injuries of this type require ENT consultation as soon as possible.

Diagnostics

When it comes to sinus disorders, timely and effective diagnosis plays an important role. To properly determine the scale of the problem we use a modern computed tomography with the possibility of 3D imaging. The three-dimensional image allows for accurate and precise diagnosis, and thus for quick recovery of a patient and their return to physical activity.

On the other hand, in the case of ear trauma, it is important to evaluate hearing by audiometric examination, checking the condition of the ear canal, eardrum and inner ear structures. Impedance audiometry (tympanometry) allows to determine the pressure in the middle ear and to assess the elasticity of the eardrum. It is used to determine hearing damage at the level of the middle ear, inner ear and auditory nerve. The examination does not take much time and is non-invasive.

Experience

MML Medical Centre brings together a qualified and experienced team of specialists in ENT, ophthalmology and neurology. Our physicians specialize in aviation medicine, which is our additional asset. We offer patients the highest quality medical equipment from reputable companies and therapy tailored individually to each patient.