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April 1986

Surgery for Hearing Loss Shows Promise

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(4):375. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780040015005

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At the October 1985 meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery in Atlanta, Richard L. Goode, MD, of Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center, reported that human external and middle ears are not equally efficient as to sound transmission in the 1,000- to 4,000-Hz range. This individual variation in impedance-matching capability has been shown in animals and human temporal bones to be a major cause of the 25-dB hearing threshold level (HTL) variation in pure-tone air-conduction thresholds in normal ears. The difference between the most efficient ears (top 10%, or "gold" ears) and the least efficient ears (bottom 10%, or "tin" ears) is 10- to 15-dB HTL at 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, and 4,000 Hz. If these inefficient tin ears could be identified clinically, it seems possible that they could be surgically modified to become gold ears, thus producing a clinically important improvement in patients with a mild hearing

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