The use tympanometry to detect aerotitis media in hypobaric chamber operations

J. A. Devine, V. A. Forte, P. B. Rock, A. Cymerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Diagnosis and quantification of aerotitis media were performed using a modified commercially-available tympanometer under hypobaric conditions. Subjects were 22 males and 9 females, 22-43 years of age, who were tested in each ear with the tympanometer prior to and after exposure, sequentially at the 522 mm Hg, and following an induced ear block during a 1-min descent from 522 to 586 mm Hg. Each subject was examined once either alone or in pairs during a 90-min exposure. Aerotitis media was detected using tympanometry at simulated altituede as evidenced by the difference between measurements made during induced ear blocks and those made prior to inducement, as well as following relief of the pressure differential with the Valsalva maneuver. There were no significant differences between pre- and post-induced aerotitis media values at 586 mm Hg, or between pre- and post-hypobaria. Our study suggests that tympanometry can be a valuable tool in managing aerotitis media in the aeromedical environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990


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