Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Barotitis Media Overview

What is barotitis media?
A person with barotitis media has increased pressure in the middle ear that causes pain. The middle ear is a small cavity inside the skull on the other side of the eardrum. In barotitis media, pressure develops in the middle ear space due to blockage of the Eustachian tube, a passageway connecting the middle ear to the throat. When this passageway is open, the middle ear can decompress, reducing the pain of barotitis media.

What are the symptoms of barotitis media?
Common symptoms of barotitis media include ear pain and hearing loss. Some may complain of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, and ringing in the ears.

How does the doctor treat barotitis media?
Treatment for barotitis media includes maneuvers to open up the Eustachian tubes and relieve pressure in the middle ear space. Treatment with antihistamines and decongestants may also be helpful. A decongestant nasal spray may be recommended. Rarely, surgery is required.

Continue to Barotitis Media Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Barotitis Media References
  1. Brown M, Jones J, Krohmer J. Pseudoephedrine for the prevention of barotitis media: a controlled clinical trial in underwater divers. Ann Emerg Med. 1992 Jul;21(7):849-52. [1610044]
  2. Rayman RB: Passenger safety, health, and comfort: a review. Aviat Space Environ Med 1997 May; 68(5): 432-40. [9143755]
  3. Stangerup SE, Tjernstrom O, Harcourt J, Klokker M, Stokholm J. Barotitis in children after aviation; prevalence and treatment with Otovent. J Laryngol Otol. 1996 Jul;110(7):625-8. [8759532]
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