Barotitis

Barotitis means you have a problem with your ear due to changes in pressure. This can happen from scuba diving or from flying. The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose by the eustachian tube. If this tube is blocked, the pressure builds up as your body experiences changes in altitude. Blockage like this happens often with colds and allergies. This pressure may cause a severe earache and muffled hearing. To prevent barotitis you should not dive or fly when you have a cold. You can, however, chew gum or suck on candy during take-off and landing while flying to help reduce the pressure changes.

The treatment of barotitis includes decongestants, pain medicine, and nose spray. Antibiotics may also be used to treat an infection. If your pain and hearing do not improve within 2 days, you should contact your caregiver. Do not swim or dive until your caregiver says it is safe.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop a bad headache, increasing pain, drainage, or bleeding from the ear.

  • You develop severe dizziness, fever, vomiting, or other serious problems .