Ear drum rupture in scuba divers.

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Title: Ear drum rupture in scuba divers.
Author: Roydhouse, N
Abstract: Barotrauma of the ear is an inevitable part of diving with self-contained breathing apparatus (scuba). The middle ear is an enclosed air space and accordingly is at risk to barotrauma. One of the more severe forms of damage is when the ear drum ruptures. This paper discusses the diagnosis and prognosis of 80 ear drums ruptured as a result of scuba diving. The commonest diagnostic symptom complex is the development of pain in the ear which is suddenly relieved with a sensation or sound of a pop or bang on descent. In 46% of cases a disturbance of the balance apparatus develops at the time of rupture, with a true rotary vertigo only in 25% of cases. There was a spontaneous cure in 85% of cases with only 12 cases requiring operative repair. Predisposing factors were difficulty in clearing the ear in 59% of cases and some atrophy of the ear drum in 55% of cases.
Description: Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5930
Date: 1998

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