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    Ear Problems: Changes in Air Pressure - Topic Overview

    Ear injuries can occur when air pressure outside the ear increases or decreases while the air pressure inside the ear remains the same. This might happen when an airplane changes altitude or when a scuba diver descends or ascends under water.

    • A gradual increase in air pressure outside the ear can cause a buildup of fluid in the space behind the eardrum (otitis media with effusion).
    • A sudden, dramatic increase in air pressure outside the ear can cause the eardrum to rupture.

    Both of these types of injuries are know as barotrauma.

    Recommended Related to First Aid

    Understanding Dizziness -- Treatment

    Because dizziness can involve so many parts of the body -- the ears, brain, or heart, to name a few -- your doctor will probably take a careful history of your symptoms, do a brief exam, and make a proper referral to a specialist if necessary. Make sure you describe the sensation you feel thoroughly, since dizziness can be many things to many people.

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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