Original Research

The manifestation of middle ear pathology in an elderly group

N. J. Cilliers, A. van der Merwe, M. Hurter, O. Nel
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 35, No 1 | a304 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v35i1.304 | © 2019 N. J. Cilliers, A. van der Merwe, M. Hurter, O. Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 1988

About the author(s)

N. J. Cilliers, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
A. van der Merwe, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
M. Hurter, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
O. Nel, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

There is a lack of clarity in the literature regarding the manifestation of the structural changes due to aging in the middle ear and the pathology which occurs in the elderly. In order to determine the incidence and manifestation of middle ear problems in an elderly group, acoustic immittance measurements and otoscopy were carried out on 94 subjects over the age of 65 years. Thirty eight percent of all the subjects tested had abnormal tympanometric results in one or both ears. These abnormal results were due to either pathologies which were medically diagnosed, or other unidentified factors such as possible structural changes in the middle ear as a result of increased age. Otoscopy and acoustic immittance measures should always be carried out as part of the test battery for the elderly.

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