Medical Definition of Baroparesis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Baroparesis: Reversible paralysis of the facial nerve due to pressure in the middle ear going up in a plane or surfacing in scuba diving. It is caused by an impaired Eustachian tube that causes overpressure to the middle ear, possibly combined with a defect in the wall of the facial canal. The excessive pressure in the middle ear compresses the facial nerve and causes temporary paralysis. After landing in a plane or surfacing in scuba diving, the ear pressure returns to normal and the nerve paralysis subsides. Recompression treatment should be avoided as this will further damage the facial nerve. Also called alternobaric facial nerve palsy.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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