ORIGINAL PAPER
The impact of regular diving on the condition of the middle ear
 
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1
Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland (Department of Hearing Healthcare Profession, Chair of Biophysics)
2
Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland (Department of Otolaryngology and Laryngological Oncology)
3
Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland (Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Wawrzyniec Loba   

Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Hearing Healthcare Profession, Chair of Biophysics, Grunwaldzka 6, 60-780 Poznań, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-05-31
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: It is generally held that exposure to both high-pressure and long-lasting contact with water makes diving a potentially hazardous sports activity as far as the ears are concerned. There is a number of research investigating the condition of the middle ear in a short period following diving; however, the knowledge regarding the long-term effects of regularly repeated diving remains limited. Material and methods: The aim of this study is to evaluate the function of the middle ear after a diving season in a group of 31 adults diving regularly (1–17 years) by means of the following methods: 1) interview, 2) otoscopy, 3) pure tone audiometry, 4) classic tympanometry, and 5) wideband tympanometry. Results: Periodic problems with pressure equalization in the middle ear were observed in 12 individuals (38.7%). In all the analyzed cases, the authors found a normal condition of the external auditory canal and the tympanic membrane in otoscopy, normal hearing in pure tone audiometry, curve type A, and normal gradient in both classic and wideband tympanometry. Conclusions: Safe diving (according to safety precautions) does not have any long-term negative effects on the condition of the middle ear. However, these observations should be verified in a larger group of divers.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087