• 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)
Marshall L, Martinez SA, Schlaman ME. Reassessment of High-Frequency Air-Bone Gaps in Older Adults. Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(9):601–606. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800230037009