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June 1972

Inner Ear Barotrauma

Author Affiliations

Melbourne; Sydney
From Alfred Hospital, Melbourne (Dr. Freeman) and the School of Underwater Medicine, Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Penguin, Balmoral Naval Hospital, Sydney (Dr. Edmonds). Dr. Freeman is Senior Consultant ENT Surgeon to the Royal Australian Navy.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1972;95(6):556-563. doi:10.1001/archotol.1972.00770080846010

Five patients demonstrated a sensorineural hearing defect following aural barotrauma. Preincident and postincident audiograms show the extent of impairment to vary from a high frequency loss to a total sensorineural deafness. The men involved were all Navy divers and they all experienced difficulty in clearing their ears on descent. The terminology recommended for this condition is "inner ear barotrauma," to differentiate it from other forms of barotrauma and from the involvement of the eighth nerve in decompression sickness.