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Barotitis Media


Barotitis media is damage to the middle ear (area behind your eardrum) from pressure change. It is also known as ear squeeze. It occurs when the eustachian tube becomes blocked and air builds up inside the middle ear. When this happens, it can injure tissue and blood vessels, and cause swelling.



  • Medicines can help decrease pain or swelling in your ear. You may also need medicine to dry up fluid in your sinuses. You may need medicine to prevent or treat an infection, if you have torn your eardrum.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for hearing or other tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Decrease your risk of barotitis media:

  • Ask about medicine to help prevent barotitis media if you plan to scuba dive, sky dive, or fly.
  • Do not fly or scuba dive if you have a cold or ear infection. Ask if and when it is safe for you to do these activities.
  • Follow guidelines about the recommended time between flights, scuba dives, or skydives. Do not exercise or take a hot bath right after you scuba dive.
  • Keep your ears clear when you fly or scuba dive. Avoid earplugs and tight-fitting hoods when you dive. Swallowing, yawning, or moving your jaw sideways may help your ears adjust during pressure changes. Do not sleep during take-off or landings. You may also pinch your nose, close your mouth, and gently push air out as if you are blowing your nose. You may also pinch your nose and say the letter K over and over again.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or feel dizzy.
  • You have new ringing in your ear.
  • Your ear feels plugged and painful.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your dizziness or ear pain gets worse.
  • You have fluid or blood come out of your ear or nose.
  • You have sudden loss of hearing.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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