[Otorhinolaryngologic disorders in association with scuba diving].

Research paper by A A Gonnermann, J J Dreyhaupt, M M Praetorius, I I Baumann, P K PK Plinkert, C C Klingmann

Indexed on: 23 Jan '08Published on: 23 Jan '08Published in: HNO


Due to the increasing number of scuba divers in Germany, the otorhinolaryngologist has to face rising numbers of diving-associated ENT disorders. However, data about the lifetime prevalence of these disorders are insufficient. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of ENT disorders in scuba divers correlated with their diving history.The study design was a non-randomized, retrospective, cross-sectional study based on questionnaires. The study population included 429 active divers attending three medical diving symposia.The study population consisted of highly experienced divers (mean of logged dives m= 670.0) with a high diving certification level. Otitis externa was the most frequent disorder (43.6%). Barotrauma of the sinuses (10.9%), alternobaric vertigo (9.0%) and barotrauma of the middle ear (8.7%) played an important role as well. In contrast, inner ear barotrauma and decompression illness of the inner ear were less frequent but not rare (1.7 % each).A substantial number of scuba divers suffered diving-related ENT disorders.