Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Decongestants

Oral Decongestants for Barotitis Media

  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) may be used for most healthy adults and adolescents.
    • Follow dosing instructions on the product packaging.
    • Typical dosing for pseudoephedrine hydrochloride is 30 mg four times a day.

Oral decongestant precautions include:

Decongestant Sprays for Barotitis Media
Decongestant nasal sprays are used because they relieve congestion fast. Examples include:

Do not use decongestant nasal sprays for longer than 3 days: this can result in rebound congestion. When used for more than three days, the nasal tissues become dependent on the drug. When the drug is finally stopped, the tissues become swollen again and the swelling can be worse than the original condition.

Antihistamines for Barotitis Media

Antihistamine precautions include:

Continue to Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Pain Medications

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving 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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