Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Treatment
Treatment for barotitis media includes maneuvers to open up the Eustachian tubes and relieve pressure in the middle ear space. Antihistamines and decongestants medications may also help open the Eustachian tubes. Rarely, surgery is required to relieve the severely elevated pressure in the middle ear.
The Valsalva maneuver is used to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outside air, and relieves the pain. If you are flying, performing a Valsalva maneuver several times during ascent and descent may help prevent barotitis media.
To perform a Valsalva maneuver:
- Close your mouth and pinch your nose.
- Take a deep breath.
- Expel the air from your lungs against the pinched nose and closed mouth: this forces air into the middle ear.
Additional treatment for barotitis media includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Surgery for barotitis media:
Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of barotitis media.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat barotitis media:
Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Surgery
Surgery may include the placement of a small tube through the eardrum, in order to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outside air. The tubes do not cause loss of hearing.
Continue to Ear Pain due to Scuba Diving Home Care
- 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. 
- Rayman RB: Passenger safety, health, and comfort: a review. Aviat Space Environ Med 1997 May; 68(5): 432-40. 
- 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.