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April 19, 1941

AERO-OTITIS MEDIA IN COMPRESSED AIR WORKERSTREATMENT WITH HELIUM-OXYGEN MIXTURES

JAMA. 1941;116(16):1766-1769. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820160018005
Abstract

Armstrong and Heim1 in 1937 described a disorder of the middle ear caused by changes in atmospheric pressure during flight and subscribed the name "aerootitis media" to it. This clinical entity, which is the result of blockage of the eustachian tube under changing atmospheric pressure, gradually has assumed an important position in the list of occupational diseases among pilots and other flying personnel. It is not limited to aviation medicine, however, and, as previously pointed out,2 the significance of aero-otitis media is even greater in industrial groups because of its high frequency in workers in compressed air. The fluctuation of atmospheric pressure is greater in work done in compressed air, and a significant number of patients progress to suppurative otitis media with permanent impairment of hearing. Tubal blockage or impaired ventilation of the middle ear by the eustachian tube is the primary factor involved. Lovelace, Mayo and Boothby

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