This type of vertigo is associated with exposure to alterations in ambient pressure, either an increase (diving, pressure chamber, explosions) or a decrease (flying, altitude chambers). The atmosphere exerts an absolute pressure of 760 mmHg (1013 mbar) at sea level, the standard one atmosphere absolute (1 ATA) pressure. Changes of pressure in water increase linearly with increasing depth: one atmosphere is added for each 10 m. This increased pressure is balanced by breathing air delivered at the new ambient pressure and by equalizing the pressure in all gas-containing body cavities to ambient (Farmer and Thomas 1976; Margulies 1987). The volume of gas varies inversely with ambient pressure. It is this pressure-volume relationship that mostly causes barotrauma. The likelihood of damage to the Eustachian tube and middle and inner ear increases as the rate of change of external pressure increases, because large pressure differentials are produced in these areas.
KeywordsSensorineural Hearing Loss Eustachian Tube Round Window Blast Injury Aviat Space Environ
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Brandt Th, Dieterich M, Fries W (1988) Otolithic Tullio phenomenon typically presents as paroxysmal ocular tilt reaction. Adv Oto Rhino Laryngol 42: 153–156Google Scholar
- Chait RH, Casler J, Zajtchuk JT (1989) Blast injury of the ear: historical review. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 98 (Suppl 140): 9–12Google Scholar
- Conklin J, Kumar KV, Powell MR, Foster PP, Waligora JM (1996) A probabilistic model of hypobaric decompression sickness based on 66 chamber tests. Aviat Space Environ Med 67: 176–183Google Scholar
- Farmer IC, Thomas WG (1976) Ear and sinus problems in diving. In: Strauss (ed) Diving medicine. Grune and Stratton, New York, pp 109–133Google Scholar
- Head PW (1984) Vertigo and barotrauma. In: Dix MR, Hood JD (eds) Vertigo. Wiley, Chichester, pp 199–215Google Scholar
- Luxon LM (1996) Post-traumatic vertigo. In: Baloh RW, Halmagyi M (eds) Disorders of the vestibular system. Oxford University Press, Oxford pp 381–395Google Scholar