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September 1983

Reassessment of High-Frequency Air-Bone Gaps in Older Adults

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Counseling and Special Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha (Dr Marshall), the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, University of Louisville School of Medicine (Dr Martinez), and Immanuel Medical Center, Omaha (Ms Schlaman).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(9):601-606. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800230037009

• In order to assess whether a high-frequency air-bone gap characteristically exists in older adults, air- and bone-conduction thresholds were measured for 147 ears from subjects ranging in age from 19 to 87 years. Results indicated that there were no apparent age-related effects, as evidenced by the mean data, the SDs, and scatterplots showing individual data points. However, a small number of older adults did have high-frequency air-bone gaps. In order to gain a better understanding of underlying causes, additional subjects over 50 years of age with high-frequency air-bone gaps were recruited. Ear-canal collapse did not appear to be a predominant underlying factor. Cerumen obstruction, healed tympanic membrane perforations, and an apparent loosening in the middle-ear system all were observed in ears with high-frequency air-bone gaps.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:601-606)

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