Inner ear decompression sickness following altitude chamber operation

Zohar Nachum, Avi Shupak, Orna Spitzer, Zohara Sharoni, Yitzchak Ramon, Amir Abramovich, Baruch Shahal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decompression sickness (DCS) is a known hazard of altitude chamber operation. The musculoskeletal, dermal, neurological and pulmonary manifestations of DCS are well recognized, but inner ear injury has not been reported. We present the unusual case of a medical corpsman suffering from vestibular DCS after an altitude chamber exposure to 25,000 ft. The patient had a good clinical response to hyperbaric treatment, but there was laboratory evidence of mild residual vestibular damage with full compensation. This case suggests that aviation medical personnel should be more aware of the possible occurrence of inner ear DCS among subjects exposed to altitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1109
Number of pages4
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Altitude chamber
  • Decompression sickness
  • Hyperbaric oxygenation
  • Hypobaric chamber
  • Inner ear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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