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Ear Hear. 1987 Dec;8(6):316-21.

Ear canal volume and variability in the patterns of temporary threshold shifts.

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Department of Speech, University of Florida, Gainesville.


Ear canal resonance is thought to be responsible for the prominent loss of hearing in the 3.0 to 6.0 kHz region caused by over-exposure to noise. Relationships were identified between frequency-of-maximum temporary threshold shift (TTS) and physical measurements of the ear canal in 56 subjects. TTSs were produced by two separate exposures to broadband noise of either 2 hr or 20 minute duration. Ear canal volume was estimated from admittance tympanograms, diameter of the canal opening was measured, and canal length was calculated. Thirty subjects suffered the greatest TTS at 4.0 kHz, while 17 and 9 subjects had the greatest shift at 3.0 and 6.0 kHz, respectively. With subjects grouped according to frequency-of-maximum TTS, mean ear canal volume was found to be significantly different. Subjects with larger volumes were more likely to suffer the greatest loss at 3.0 kHz. Accordingly, subjects with smaller ear canal volumes suffered peak hearing loss at 6.0 kHz. Significant correlations were identified between ear canal volume and calculated length (resonance). Also, modest correlations were noted between frequency-of-maximum TTS and volume as well as TTS and length.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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