Advertisement

Why can I get barotrauma in a pressurized airplane cabin?

Airplane cabins are pressurized to prevent the extreme discomfort associated with changes in pressure. However, the pressure in a standard airplane is closer to the pressure at about 7000 feet than to sea level pressure. As a result, the air in your ear can expand by a quarter of its original size. When the plane descends, your ear needs to take in air to return to sea level pressure - this is when barotrauma occurs most often.

Continue Learning about Ear Disorders

Essential Facts About Ear Infections
Essential Facts About Ear Infections
While ear infections tend to affect kids—5 out of 6 children will experience this condition by the time they’re 3 years old—adults are not immune. And...
Read More
What is vestibular neuritis (labyrinthitis)?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Labyrinthitis occurs when an organ in the inner ear, call the vestibular labyrinth, becomes swollen ...
More Answers
What causes an acute otitis media ear infection?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Acute otitis media (AOM) is often caused by bacteria, but can also be caused by viruses. The bacteri...
More Answers
Can My Child Benefit from PE Tubes?
Can My Child Benefit from PE Tubes?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.