Diving: diseases caused by rude pressure variations (barotrauma)
Presence of even banal inflammations of the first respiratory tract, in predisposed subjects, can cause lot of problems for diving lovers.
For these patients the Eustachian tube, which allows a small amount of air to pass through in order to equalize pressure between the middle ear and the atmosphere, is often dysfunctional.
Therefore these patients often suffer from allergic or infectious nose diseases or anatomic defects (deviated septum or turbinates hypertrophy).
In these subject the tube can be unable to equalize pressure especially in case of rude variations, for example during diving (increase of internal pressure).
A barotrauma disease of the middle ear is identified and called otitis media, also known as glue ear.
Symptoms are caused by the develop and stagnation of a mucus spill inside the middle ear. Hence patient suffers from sensorineural hearing loss (a type of partial deafness), dizziness and ear pain (otalgia).
Every athlete which have had problems of these kind during diving, or even a common ead pain episode must:
- be checked by an otolaryngologist or a diving medicine specialist.
- doing nasal washes the day before diving.
- doing precautionary cycles of aerosol therapy with cortisone and mucolytics nasally for 7-8 days before every diving.
In case of tube disfunction, eardrum can resist a pressure variation limited by a certain measure. If this value is passed, the membrane breaks up and the middle ear is suddenly flooded by cold water; this causes an extreme and dangerous dizziness, considered the fact that happens underwater.