barotrauma bar·o·trau·ma (bār'ō-trô'mə, -trou'-)
Injury caused by pressure, especially to the middle ear or paranasal sinuses due to an imbalance between the ambient pressure and pressure within the cavity.
any of several injuries arising from changes in pressure upon the body. Humans are adapted to live at an atmospheric pressure of 760 mm of mercury (the pressure at sea level), which differs from pressures experienced in underwater environments and in the upper atmospheres of space. Most body tissue is either solid or liquid and remains virtually unaffected by pressure changes; in certain cavities of the body, however, such as the ears, sinuses, lungs, and intestines, there are air pockets that either expand or contract in response to changes in pressure. Abrupt expansion or contraction of closed internal air spaces can injure or rupture surrounding tissues, such as the eardrum.
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