ear squeeze

also called  Aerotitis, Aero-otitis, Barotitis, or Baro-otitis,  

      effects of a difference in pressure between the internal ear spaces and the external ear canal. These effects may include severe pain, inflammation, bleeding, and rupture of the eardrum membrane. Underwater divers and airplane pilots are sometimes affected.

      The middle ear, the cavity behind the eardrum membrane, is connected with the nasal cavity (nasopharynx) by a thin, narrow tube known as the eustachian tube. Under normal conditions, when the external air pressure increases or decreases, air from the nose passes through the eustachian tube to equalize the pressure in the middle ear cavity; often, however, the eustachian tube becomes blocked by fluids from head colds, by small tumours, or by an excess of tonsillar tissue around the opening.

      As a pilot in an unpressurized cabin ascends to higher altitudes and the external pressure decreases, air that is trapped in the middle ear expands. Usually the expanding air forces its way out of the eustachian tube so that the pressure can be equalized. If the tube is sufficiently blocked, the expanding air in the middle ear causes the eardrum membrane to bulge outward, with eventual rupturing if the pressure cannot be relieved. A pilot descending from higher altitudes has the opposite problem; as he descends, the external pressure increases. In order to equalize pressure in the middle ear cavity, air must pass from the eustachian tubes to the middle ear. It is usually harder to equalize pressures on descent than on ascent, as a vacuum is created in the middle ear that more tightly seals the eustachian tubes. The methods that are commonly employed to equalize the pressure in the ears include swallowing, yawning, chewing, elevation of the roof of the mouth, and blowing with the nose and mouth sealed. As the pressure in the ears is brought to the same level as that outside, the pain is relieved, unless damage has already been done. If the pressure within the ears is not kept the same on descent as the external pressure, the drum membranes bulge inward, bleed, and eventually break. Rupture of an eardrum membrane relieves the pain and pressure, but it may also cause dizziness, partial hearing loss, and middle ear infections. Usually if there are no serious complications, the membrane heals in three to four weeks.

      Underwater (underwater diving) divers encounter the same difficulties. The deeper they descend under water, the greater the amount of pressure upon their body. As they go down, they normally have to equalize the pressure inside their ears to the external pressure every 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 metres).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ear disease — ▪ human Introduction       any of the diseases or disorders that affect the human ear and hearing.       Impaired hearing (deafness) is, with rare exception, the result of disease or abnormality of the outer, middle, or inner ear. Serious… …   Universalium

  • Ear clearing — or clearing the ears is any of various maneuvers to equalize the pressure in the middle ear with the outside pressure, by letting air enter along the Eustachian tubes, as this does not always happen automatically when the pressure in the middle… …   Wikipedia

  • Ear piercing instrument — An ear piercing instrument (commonly referred to as a piercing gun or an ear piercing gun) is a device designed to pierce earlobes by forcing a blunt starter earring through the lobe. Piercing guns may be reusable or disposable. Piercing guns are …   Wikipedia

  • List of baseball jargon (S) — sabermetrics:Sabermetrics is the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics. The term is derived from the SABR – the Society for American Baseball Research. The term was coined by Bill James, an enthusiastic… …   Wikipedia

  • List of diving hazards and precautions — Contents 1 Effects of relying on breathing equipment while underwater 2 Effects of barotrauma or pressure damage 2.1 …   Wikipedia

  • Barotrauma — Barotrauma, otitic Barotrauma, sinus Classification and external resources ICD 10 T70.0, T70.1 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • muscle — muscleless, adj. muscly, adj. /mus euhl/, n., v., muscled, muscling, adj. n. 1. a tissue composed of cells or fibers, the contraction of which produces movement in the body. 2. an organ, composed of muscle tissue, that contracts to produce a… …   Universalium

  • Nasal irrigation — Intervention A woman flushing her nose with a neti pot. ICD 9 CM …   Wikipedia

  • List of 6teen characters — This is a list of characters in the animated Canadian sitcom 6teen. Contents 1 Main characters 1.1 Jonesy Garcia 1.2 Caitlin Cooke 1.3 Wyatt Williams …   Wikipedia

  • Hyperbaric medicine — Hyperbaric medicine, also known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen at a higher than atmospheric pressure. Uses Several therapeutic principles are made use of in HBOT: *The increased overall pressure is of therapeutic …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.