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Barotrauma means injury to your body because of changes in barometric (air) or water pressure. One common type happens to your ear. A change in altitude may cause your ears to hurt. This can happen if you are flying in an airplane, driving in the mountains, or scuba diving. Divers can also get decompression sickness, which affects the whole body.

Common symptoms of ear barotrauma include

  • Pain
  • A feeling that your ears are stuffed
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness

Treatments for ear barotrauma include chewing gum and yawning to relieve the pressure. Medications such as decongestants may also help.

Learn More

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • Ear - blocked at high altitudes (On it differed) Also in Spanish
  • Ear barotrauma (On it differed) Also in Spanish
  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)