February 9, 2011

Natural Treatment for Ear Barotrauma

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Ear barotrauma is another way to describe the discomfort you feel when you travel by an aeroplane or feel a pressure build up inside your ear. This discomfort specifically relates to your ear. The different pressure outside your ear and inside your ear can cause this uncomfortable feeling.

This discomfort, sometimes which can also be acute pain, is also known as barotitis, aerotitis media or barotitis media. This discomfort primarily occurs when the plane is taking off the runway or landing on one. Any quick change in pressure even, for instance, while diving can make a difference. The quick change in pressure is what forces the change in the pressure in the inner ear but the change in pressure doesn’t always happen, thus leading to the discomfort.

Usually this condition corrects itself. Occasionally, you might feel other symptoms like feeling stuffy, moderate hearing loss or even some amount of pain. If the symptoms worsen, you could feel some dizziness, severe hearing loss, ringing in the ears or tinnitus, vertigo, vomiting from the vertigo and even bleeding. In the case of such symptoms, you might need a doctor’s attention.

In the physical examination, sometimes, it becomes difficult to a ear infection from barotrauma. In severe cases, the ear drum membrane might be visibly pulled outward or stretched inward. This should be handled carefully as there could be blood.

Barotrauma can also be caused by underwater activities like scuba diving, or actual trauma to the ear like being slapped hard on it or being around a really loud noise like an explosion. You could even feel the symptoms sometimes riding in an elevator in a really tall building.

If you suffer from any existing condition like blocked sinuses or the common cold, a prevalent middle ear infection, hay fever or an allergic reaction or are just caught sleeping during the ascent or descent of the plane – you stand a much higher chance of getting barotrauma.

Common ear pressure relief measures are chewing gum, yawning or swallowing. Most often these techniques take care of the additional pressure. Self care is the most effective mechanism. If you are a diver you should precautionary steps like going underwater slowly so that the pressure does not build too fast.

If you suffer from any manner of nasal congestion or allergies, you could try anti histamines or decongestants. Steroids are sometimes prescribed in really severe cases. If medication makes no difference then surgery can also be considered to provide relief.

Sometimes home remedies are also tried to relieve the additional pressure in the ear. You can try a warm water and towel compress. Try lying down on the affected ear with the towel below it. After a while, the heat can open up the blocked ear.

There are some manoeuvres like the Valsalva manoeuvre.  In this method, close your mouth and gently but forcefully blow air into your nose. With warm compresses, this manoeuvre does the trick. Try over-the-counter decongestants and warm baths if your cold or any nasal infection is worsening the ear condition. If chewing gum is not doing the trick, try sucking on a hard piece of candy. If it’s very dry then humidify the air around you. This could help thin the mucus and in turn, help you feel less stuffy.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001064.htm