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Facial baroparesis secondary to middle-ear over-pressure: a rare complication of scuba diving

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2006

A.F. Hyams
Affiliation:
University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol, UK.
S.C. Toynton
Affiliation:
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK.
M. Jaramillo
Affiliation:
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK.
L.R. Stone
Affiliation:
University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol, UK.
P.J. Bryson
Affiliation:
Diving Diseases Research Centre, Tamar Science Park, Davy Road, Plymouth, UK.

Abstract

A facial nerve palsy, as a result of middle-ear high pressure, is a rare complication of sub-aqua diving. It may occur as a result of an acute pressure change in the middle ear during ascent in those patients who have experienced difficulty equalizing their middle-ear pressure during the prior descent. We present the case history of this occurring in a 21-year-old diver and discuss the pathophysiology, management and the previous literature. The correct diagnosis of this condition is important if unnecessary, and potentially hazardous, recompression treatment is to be avoided.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2004 Royal Society of Medicine Press

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