The association between diving, barotrauma, and the production of perilymphatic fistula has been known for almost 20 years. Forty-eight cases of round and oval window fistulas following diving have been reviewed and essentially corroborate previous findings. Any patient with a history of diving and subsequent sensorineural hearing loss within 72 hours should be suspected of having a round or oval window perilymphatic fistula and surgical exploration and closure of the fistula should be undertaken. Patients who have a loss of hearing, vertigo, nausea, or vomiting following a decompression dive should be re-compressed and if symptoms do not clear, exploration should be performed. Surgical treatment should be executed as soon as possible after the diagnosis is suspected for the best possible results.
© 1992, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.