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Barotitis Media

Barotitis Media Causes

Barotitis media is caused by the eardrums bulging outward or retracting inward during a change in air pressure. Normally, the air pressure in the middle ear is equal to that of the outer ear, because the Eustachian tube opens and allows air to flow in and out of the middle ear, thus equalizing the pressure. However, if the Eustachian tube is obstructed, differences in pressure can occur between both sides of the eardrum, thus leading to barotitis media.

Barotitis Media Definition

Barotitis media is a sensation of pain or discomfort in the ears during an airplane ride. It is also alternatively known as airplane ear.

Barotitis Media Diagnosis

Barotitis media can be diagnosed by a physical examination of the affected ear, usually with the help of a lighted instrument to look inside the ear. A slight outward or inward bulging usually indicates barotitis media.

Barotitis Media Symptoms and Signs

Barotitis media can affect one or both ears. Common symptoms include: mild ear discomfort or pain; sensation of fullness or stuffiness in the ears; slight temporary hearing loss; ringing in the ears; and dizziness. In severe or prolonged cases, affected individuals may suffer from severe middle ear pain, intense pressure, moderate to severe hearing loss, and even bleeding in the affected ear. In addition, sever barotitis media may also cause some complications, including a ruptured eardrum, ear infections, or complete hearing loss.

Barotitis Media Treatment

Barotitis media is considered mild and temporary. The condition usually resolves on its own with self-care. In prolonged cases, medications such as decongestant nasal sprays, oral antihistamines, or oral decongestants may be used to open up the Eustachian tube and relieve symptoms.

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