Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tympanosclerosis and Diving?

Question re diving with tympanosclerosis.
Can someone with tympanosclerosis ( no tubes) dive. He has some white hardness. And slow to equalize. No problems or infection for years.

Ron Durheim instructor

Alaska Aquatics

We sent the query to our ENT consultant, Dr. Allen Dekelboum. Here is his answer:

Mr. Durheim:

You question was referred to me for comment.

Tympanosclerosis is scarring in the tympanic membrane (ear drum) as you noted. It is the end result of infections in the middle ear with possible rupture. Since the diver has not had problems with his ears for many years (how many years?), and no tubes were placed, it is generally of no consequence, as long as he can adequately and timely equalize his ears. The ear trouble in the past was due to obstruction of the Eustachian tubes, which, if it only incurred in childhood, has probably resolved. I would recommend that he be examined by an ear doctor who can also evaluate his ability to equalize with a valsalva tympanogram. If he is slow to equalize, he should take his time and not be intimidated by his diving buddies.

These comments are for information only and did not consist of an examination of the patient.

Allen M. Dekelboum, M.D.