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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2006 September;59(3):335-41

language: Italian

Barotraumatic sinusitis in underwater sporting activity: physiopathological and clinical evaluations

Tafuri D. 1, Testa D. 2, Guerra G. 3, Iovine R. 2, La Marca S. 4, Galera F. 2, Marmo M. 5, Di Iorio C. 5, Di Minno R. M. 5, Iengo M. 2

1 Facoltà di Scienze Motorie, Università degli Studi di Napoli «Parthenope»
2 Dipartimento di Otorinolaringoiatria e Scienze Affini Università degli Studi di Napoli «Federico II», Napoli
3 Dipartimento di Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali Servizio di Medicina dello Sport, Università degli Studi di Napoli «Federico II», Napoli
4 Dipartimento di Anestesia e Rianimazione, Terapia Antalgica Università degli Studi di Napoli «Federico II», Napoli
5 Dipartimento di Anestesia, Terapia Intensiva, Post Operatoria, C.G.U. e Terapia Iperbarica, ORN- «A. Cardarelli», Napoli


Aim. Nasal sinuses perviousness is an unavoidable condition to balance the pressure between paranasal cavities and external environment; morphostructural changes and specific and non-specific chronic inflammations can cause a barotraumatic sinusal damage.
Methods. We studied a group of eleven scuba-divers that have shown the following anamnestic data: acute pain in maxillary, frontal and peri-orbitale regions during immersion.
Results. Causative factors were anatomo-functional changes in seven athletes and allergic inflammation in four atlethes. To restore physiological function of osteo-meatal complex, we have chosen surgical treatment to correct mechanical obstruction of sinusal ostium in presence of anatomical defects while we have chosen medical treatment for allergic rhinosinusitis. Only two athletes have shown new symptoms during follow up.
Conclusion. Athletes practise sporting activities with pressure changes (scuba-divers, breath-held divers, etc.), needs an accurate otorhinolaryngological examination to discover risk factors and to prevent barotraumatic damage.

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