Diving Related Neurapraxia

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Satreerat Kaewyuang
Thanasawat Chaiyakul


            Diving related neurapraxia is an uncommon condition presenting with neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling or weakness. Common causes are overpressure or barotrauma of the middle ear and the paranasal sinuses which usually affect the seventh cranial nerve known as Facial baroparesis and the fifth cranial nerve or Trigeminal paralysis, respectively. Direct compression of the nerve from diving equipment like tight wetsuit or lead belt could be the causes in some cases. Knowing this type of the injuries including understanding their mechanism with a complete history and clinical physical examination would help to get a prompt diagnosis. Decompression illness must be the first condition to be ruled out due to its requirement of recompression therapy. Normally, neurapraxia can be self-limited but in some cases, pharmacological treatments such as decongestants or doing some procedures, for example myringotomy to release the overpressure could be helpful. Recompression therapy is not recommended due to potential risk of worsening symptoms especially in case of neurapraxia caused from barotrauma.

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