My watch list  


Catarrh (kə-tär') is a discharge or mucus blockage caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes. Its presence is a symptom usually associated with the common cold and chesty coughs, but can also be found in patients with middle ear infections, tonsillitis, sinusitis or an adenoid infection. Some blockages may be chronic.

Catarrhal Exudate - An Exudate characterised by the presence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and mucus with hyperaemia of the mucosa

Problems caused by catarrh

A catarrh blockage may result in discomfort with (and what is known as ear fear of):

  • elevators
  • airplanes
  • traveling at elevation
  • baths such as swimming pools, jumping baths and other activities associated with a change in pressure.

Even the shallow end of a swimming bath can be troublesome; barotrauma -- a problem linked to head pressure changes which is affected by catarrh blockages -- can occur in as little as 4 feet of water depth.


The word "catarrh" comes from the Greek "katarrhein": kata- meaning "down" and rhein meaning "to flow."

Related concepts

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Catarrh". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE