Expert: Roller coasters can cause temporary hearing loss

April 30, 2010 Researchers looked at a case involving a 24-year-old man. He apparently turned his head to talk to his girlfriend, just as the ride began to accelerate, and that exposed his ear drum to the full impact of the acceleration.

Two days later, he reported pain in his right ear.

Doctors diagnosed it as a "barotraumas," an ear injury commonly linked to scuba-diving or air travel.

An expert says the problem could be seen more often as roller coasters become higher and faster but concedes this was an unusual situation.

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