Aerotitis media, also known as barotitis media or aerotitis, is a condition in which the middle ear becomes inflamed and painful due to changes in air pressure. It typically occurs during air travel, scuba diving, or exposure to high altitudes.
The middle ear is normally filled with air and connected to the back of the throat by the Eustachian tube, which helps to equalize air pressure between the middle ear and the environment. However, sudden changes in air pressure, such as during takeoff or landing in an airplane, can cause the Eustachian tube to become blocked, leading to a buildup of pressure in the middle ear.
Symptoms of aerotitis media can include ear pain, fullness or pressure in the ear, muffled or reduced hearing, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), dizziness, and sometimes vertigo. In severe cases, the eardrum may rupture, leading to bleeding from the ear and temporary hearing loss.
Treatment for aerotitis media may involve techniques to equalize the air pressure in the middle ear, such as swallowing, yawning, or using a nasal decongestant. Pain relievers may also be used to manage symptoms. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary if the condition does not improve with conservative measures or if the eardrum has ruptured. It is important to consult a healthcare professional if symptoms of aerotitis media persist or worsen.