Logo femininebook.com
General Practice 2023

Barotrauma: what é, symptoms and treatment

Table of contents:

Barotrauma: what é, symptoms and treatment
Barotrauma: what é, symptoms and treatment

Barotrauma is a situation in which there is a sensation of plugged ear, headache or dizziness due to the difference in pressure between the ear canal and the external environment, and this situation is common to occur in high altitude environments or during a plane trip, for example.

Although ear barotrauma is more common, this situation can happen in other areas of the body that contain gas, such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, for example, and is also caused by the difference in pressure between the internal and external compartments.

Normally barotrauma is treated with the use of analgesic drugs with the aim of relieving the pain, but in more severe cases the otolaryngologist or general practitioner may recommend a surgical procedure to resolve the situation.

Main symptoms

The symptoms of barotrauma vary according to the affected site, the main ones being:

  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Sensation of plugged ear;
  • Ear pain and tinnitus;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Headache;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Nosebleeds;
  • Chest pain;
  • Hoarseness.

Barotrauma can happen as a result of several situations that can lead to a sudden difference in pressure, such as holding your breath, diving, traveling by plane, places with high altitudes and respiratory diseases, such as Pulmonary Disease Chronic Obstructive, in which mechanical ventilation is most often required.

The identification of barotrauma is made by the physician according to the symptoms presented by the patient and the result of imaging tests, such as radiography and computed tomography, for example.

What is pulmonary barotrauma?

Pulmonary barotrauma happens due to the difference in gas pressure inside and outside the lung, mainly due to mechanical ventilation in people who have chronic respiratory diseases, but it can also happen after surgeries and people who have asthma, for example.

The main symptoms related to pulmonary barotrauma are difficulty breathing, chest pain and a feeling of fullness, for example. If barotrauma is not identified and treated, there may be rupture of the alveoli, for example, which may interfere with the person's quality of life.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for barotrauma is done according to the symptoms, and the use of decongestant and analgesic drugs is usually indicated to reduce symptoms.In addition, depending on the case, administration of oxygen may be necessary in case of respiratory symptoms.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend the use of oral corticosteroid medications or a surgical procedure to correct the problem.

Popular topic