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December 1982

Middle-Ear Pressure and Eustachian Tube Function

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Helsinki.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1982;108(12):766-768. doi:10.1001/archotol.1982.00790600010003

• In 92 healthy persons with the common cold, 184 ears were examined and 786 coincidental sonotubometric and tympanometric measurements were taken. There was a good tubal function when the middle-ear pressure was 0 to −25 mm H2O, with 91% of the tubes opening during swallowing. A systematically reduced tubal opening was noted as the middle ear pressure decreased from 0 to −200 mm H2O. The present study discloses that a negative middle-ear pressure evaluated by tympanometry does not always denote a closed tube, nor does a flat tympanogram necessarily indicate a middle-ear effusion. No definite limits could be ascertained for the normal middle-ear pressure; the middle ear is extremely dynamic, and middle-ear pressure can change for many reasons.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1982;108:766-768)

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