In general Barotraumadenotes every injury which happens due to an abrupt change in ambient pressure (for example during ascension). A barotrauma is colloquially also known as “caisson disease” or “decompression sickness”. All body cavities which are filled with air are particularly endangered. Those are for example the ears, the sinuses, the buccal cavity and the lungs.
Barotrauma in the buccal cavity
Perhaps not every diver thinks about it right away, but it is important to tell your dentist about your diving! Because he must work very precisely in case of fillings when a diver is on the dentist’s chair. Even tiny cavities in the dental filling can expand during the pressure compensation or at least slacken.
Just when you have a cold, the buccal cavity and the sinuses can be irritated or even swollen. As a result the pressure compensation here can only be possible on a smaller scale and this can lead to strong pain when diving.
Barotrauma in the ears
When resurfacing too quickly, the ear cannot withstand the pressure compensation anymore and a rupture of the eardrum can happen. This disease can be handled well medically, but it is extremely painful. If you suffer from strong pain in the ear while diving, cover the ear with your flat hand and it is best to consult a doctor as soon as you return to the surface of water.
Barotrauma in the lungs
Here the number 1 rule of diving comes into play: NEVER hold your breath!
Due to the high pressure when resurfacing, the lungs can namely expand and potentially even tear. The barotrauma of the lungs happens rather rarely, but it must be treated medically immediately. In order to avoid such accidents, it is also very important to maintain the correct ascent speed. Modern diving computers can help you to do so.
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