Why Do I Have Ear Pain After Skydiving?

When diving or skydiving, sudden pressure changes in the ear canal can occur, and loud explosions or skull fractures can cause eardrum fractures. In addition, if you opt for a parachute jump, you can clog up your Eustachian tube, which can block the eardrum and pierce under pressure.

Barotrauma refers to earache caused by changes in pressure in the ear. It is common for people to experience barotrauma in the ear when diving because changes in water pressure can affect the eardrum cavity (ear). When diving, it is crucial to descend slowly to prevent rapid pressure changes that can cause injuries to the ears.

Barotrauma is a condition that causes a person to feel pain or discomfort in the middle of their ear because of a change in pressure in the air or water surrounding it. The feeling of having a blocked ear arises when the body does not equalize the pressure in the ear, and the Eustachian tube is blocked. If the pressure difference persists and you are unable to pop your ear, you may get earache.

If a blockage occurs in the Eustachian tube forming the ear to the mouth, the difference in pressure in the middle ear can cause symptoms of ear trauma. The inner ear window breaks during descent, and the pressure difference can lead to sudden hearing loss, dizziness, imbalance and vomiting. Under pressure in the ear can also cause tiny blood vessels to burst, causing a build-up of blood that can cause similar symptoms.

A review in Current Sports Medicine reports that researchers studying the effects of extreme pressure changes inherent in activities such as diving and parachuting have found that the pressure decreases in the sinuses during flight, forcing air into the area (sneezing) but increases pressure in free fall and pushes air out of the sinuses. When you descend to an elevation of 13,000 feet, you will experience a rapid change in air pressure that can have a considerable impact on your ears and sinuses. When you ascend during a jump, there is an inverse pressure in the middle ear sinus cavities as the ambient pressure decreases and the gases in these cavities try to expand.

The small, snappy planes we use for parachuting are not pressurized (which is good, by the way, because the short hydraulic jacks open the doors put the plane under pressure) so that our ears experience the subtleties of air pressure in the same way (and to a lesser extent when we dive). The air is thinner at altitude, so the pressure on the inside of the ears is lower. Anyone who has ever flown in an airliner knows that changes in air pressure during the ascent and descent can cause your ears to pop.

Equalizing your ears means changing the pressure to keep up with the outside world. For example, you may have noticed it on commercial flights when the air pressure in your eardrum drops while the pressure in the inner ear remains constant. If you change the air pressure in your ears to match that outside of your ears, you will feel more comfortable.

The best way to avoid barotrauma is to ideally balance the air pressure in the middle ear to prevent pressure differences from building up. Your ears will feel the change in air pressure on the way up, but they will do so in such a way that it happens by then. During descent, the increased air pressure reduces pressure in the middle ear, resulting in contraction and compression (ET), which prevents air from entering the inner ear, compensating for the pressure difference.

If you are the clever type, you know that a change in air pressure has at least a small effect on skydiving. If you have ever dived, you will know that cleaning your ears is an important ritual, but the way you parachute must, in most cases, be acute and remember to regulate yourself in this way. In this way, you take control of the entire ear situation and regulate your ear pressure so that the height of the canopy gets in the way.

Ear problems that impair the ability to equalize pressure can be troublesome and painful. For example, sports with extreme changes in air pressure, such as parachuting and diving, expose athletes to barotrauma, injury to the middle ear and sinuses. Prevention; A person can reduce their risk of developing ear barotrauma by taking decongestants and antihistamines before and after activity where pressure changes are frequent.

Acute symptoms of the upper respiratory tract (rhinosinusitis) predispose skydivers to the middle ear and sinus barotrauma, and chronic ear, nose and throat diseases have been reported in the literature that place jumpers at a higher risk of ear pain associated with barotrauma (16). Chewing gum or sucking sweets to reduce ear pressure during ascent and descent is common on commercial air travel but not necessary for skydiving. Changes in air pressure can be responsible for the barotrauma in the ear, but as soon as the condition disappears, the air pressure normalizes and causes no further symptoms.

A small prospective observational cohort of civilian skydivers showed no significant middle-ear pressure changes after skydiving and no statistical significance for central ear symptoms [8]. Another study investigated the effects of altitude changes in the middle ear pressure on skydIVERS by comparing pressure changes before, during and after a parachute jump with pressure changes that developed middle ear symptoms, regardless of whether or not the pressure attempted compensation. Volunteers who used pressure-equalizing earplugs during the climb to 8,000 feet showed no effect of middle ear pressure on symptoms, and the earplugs produced worse results.

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