A study to determine the incidence of otitic barotrauma during hyperbaric oxygen therapy


  • Karthik Madesh R. Department of ENT, Command Hospital Air Force, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Rahul Naga Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Arjun A. P. Department of ENT, Command Hospital Air Force, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Nagababu Pyadala Department of Biochemistry, MNR Medical College and Hospital, Sangareddy, Telangana, India




Otitic barotrauma, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Middle ear barotrauma, Compression chamber, Pressure equalisation


Background: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is approved as a treatment modality for large number of indications and Middle ear barotrauma is one of its most common side effects.

Methods: A prospective study was done on 100 patients involving 1216 HBOT sessions for a period of 2 years on all those undergoing HBOT in our hospital.  

Results: 19 patients which was 1.56 per 100 treatment sessions developed otitic barotrauma with severity from grades I to III, maximum in II and none in IV to V. All resolved with temporary break in HBOT and treatment conservatively. The incidence of barotrauma was significantly less, probably due to the proper counselling, pressure equalization techniques and precautions.

Conclusions: HBOT can be used as a safe treatment modality and the incidence of otitic barotrauma can be minimized with pressure equalization techniques and precautions during the therapy sessions.


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Original Research Articles