FREQUENCY OF EAR PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH DIVING AND THEIR PREVENTION IN PAKISTAN NAVY
Ear Problem Associated with Diving
Objective: To determine the frequency of different ear problems among divers of Pakistan Navy and the factors contributing to them.
Study design: A cross sectional descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in three major units of Pakistan Navy where active diving is going on all the times from March 2007 to July 2007.
Subjects and Methods: 100 divers were selected by consecutive sampling. They were examined and interviewed following a pre-designed questionnaire by the investigator.
Results: The overall frequency of ear problems was 54% including infection, barotraumas and deafness. Frequency of ear problems was more in those having more service as divers. It was about 8% in divers with diving experience 1-8 years, 32% in 9-16 years and about 66% in those with diving experience of more than 16 years (p< 0.001). There is an association between years of diving and sensorineural hearing loss. Frequency of ear problems was more in smokers (58%) as compared to non smokers (26%) and it was found statistically significant (p<0.004). Major factors contributing to the ear problems included Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and diving after long intervals.
Conclusion: Comprehensive medical examination should be done before selection of the divers for Prevention and early diagnosis.