Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals-, Nasen- u. Ohrenkranke
Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, 97080 Würzburg
Research foci (and basic equipment-based research projects):
Diving medical problems in the otolaryngology field: Barotrauma, decompression sickness, specific disorders and the assessment of physical fitness
Recreational scuba diving has become immensely popular in recent years and is no longer restricted to individualists or adventurers. During a dive, the human body with its gas-filled cavities is exposed to an increased ambient pressure. Aspects of diving and hyperbaric medicine related to the otolaryngology field are analyzed. The basics of physics, physiology and pathophysiology that are essential to understand the effects of an increased and varying ambient pressure are reviewed. Barotrauma of the outer, middle and inner ear, the paranasal sinuses, face, teeth and larynx are explained and classified in those during the compression and decompression phase. This is followed by a discussion of inner ear decompression sickness. Specific aspects of diving related disorders that are of importance in the otolaryngology field are discussed: the multitude of causes for divers' vertigo and the so called divers ear. Furthermore, useful recommendations in the assessment of physical fitness for diving are presented.