Effects of Middle Ear Pressure on Otoacoustic Emission Measures.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are used extensively in hearing evaluations. Changes in middle ear pressure may have an effect on both forward and backward transmission of signals through the middle ear. The effect that such changes have on OAEs may depend on extent of pressure change, stimulus frequency, and stimulus level. This study quantitatively evaluates the effects of these variables on distortion product OAEs (DPOAEs) and cochlear microphonic distortion products (CMDPs) for a wide range of stimuli. Pigmented adult guinea pigs were experimental subjects. An animal surgical model was established to manipulate pressure in the middle ear and CMDP and DPOAE were simultaneously measured. The effects on forward transmission were determined from the CMDP data. It was assumed that the DPOAE measures were affected by changes in both forward and backward transmission. The effects on backward transmission were determined from the DPOAE data after the effect on forward transmission were subtracted out. For all conditions the frequency ratio rm f_2/f_1 was held at 1.2 and the level ratio rm L_1/L_2 was 10 dB. The effects on forward transmission were similar to those for backward transmission in all experimental conditions. Negative pressure had a greater effect than positive pressure. Positive pressures of +10 and +20 cmH_2O affected transmission for low frequency stimuli (f_2 = 1620 and 2680 Hz) but had little effect for high frequency stimuli (f_2 = 6980 and 10250 Hz). Negative pressures of -2.5 to -10 cmH_2O affected transmission across all frequencies tested. The effect at low frequencies is hypothesized to be related to tympanic membrane stiffness. The effect of negative pressure at high frequencies may be related to change in the incudostapedial joint. The slope of growth function decreased with the pressure change for DPOAEs but changed little for CMDPs. The decrease in slope for DPOAEs suggests that the level chosen for analysis can influence the result of the evaluation. In this study, such influence was minimized by averaging over a range of stimulus level. Finally it was noted that pressure could have a greater effect on OAE threshold (affected by both forward and backward transmission) than on behavioral threshold (affected only by forward transmission).
- Pub Date:
- January 1995
- Health Sciences: Audiology; Biology: Animal Physiology; Physics: Acoustics