Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech






Tympanic membrane



Physical Description

1 online resource (95 p.)


In recent years, tympanometry has been used to provide objective and definitive information regarding the status of middle ear conditions and functions. The present standard for tympanometric normalcy is based upon between-subject measures. This standard, however, does not allow precise differentiation between normal and pathological tympanometry curves. A within-subject comparison of right and left ear tympanometry curves of normal-hearing subjects could provide a narrow standard of tympanometric normalcy which would be more useful in differentiating between pathologic and non-pathologic middle ear function. The within-subject relationship between tympanometry curves for right and left ears was investigated by comparing the individual right and left ear tympanometry curves at 220 and 660 Hz of 30 normal-hearing young adults. This was done to determine if a difference exists between within-subject right and left ear tympanometry curves. Three characteristics, curve peak amplitude, curve width, and pressure at curve peak, were measured and compared for each tympanometry curve. All tympanometry was conducted with a Grason-Stadler Otoadmittance Meter (Model 1720) utilizing a combined mode of conductance and susceptance. All tympanometry curves were graphically recorded on a Hewlitt-Packard X-Y plotter (Model 7035B). Statistical analysis and graphic illustration showed that for practical purposes no significant clinical difference exists between within-subject right and left ear tympanometry curves and that measurement variability is predominantly due to between-subject differences. The ranges of between-ear differences were much reduced in comparison to the computed ranges for between-subject measures. These findings would suggest that a definition of tympanometric normalcy should be based not only upon between-subject measures, but also upon between-ear comparisons


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