Effects of nasal obstruction on Eustachian tube function and middle ear pressure

Craig A. Buchman, William J. Doyle, J. Douglas Swarts, Charles D. Bluestone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


To evaluate the relationship between nasal obstruction and otitis media, 10 ferrets were studied before and after either unilateral (n = 5) or bilateral (n = 5) nasal obstruction. Observations included otomicroscopic assessments of middle ear status, tympanometric recordings of middle ear pressure and forced-response, inflation-deflation and continuous monitoring tests of Eustachian tube function. During the 6-8 week post-obstruction follow-up period no animal developed evidence of otitis media. Abnormal positive middle ear pressures lasting for the period of follow-up occurred only in the animals with bilateral nasal obstruction. Eustachian tube function test results showed these pressures to be generated during swallowing. No changes in the passive function of the tube were documented in either group, but changes in active function consistent with alterations in the pressure gradient between the middle ear and the nasopharynx were observed in both groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-355
Number of pages5
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Animal model
  • Eustachian tube
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Otitis media


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