Quai-static pressures in the middle ear cleft
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Berlin :Springer, 2013
The middle ear : science, otosurgery, and technology / Puria, Sunil [edit.]; et al. [edit.]
Springer handbook of auditory research ; 46
University of Antwerp
The primary function of the middle ear (ME) is to allow efficient transfer of sound waves from the air-filled external ear canal to the inner ear cochlear fluid. The major part of modern ME research has been aimed at investigating the acoustic function. The ME is also a semirigid biological gas pocket that is closed most of the time, and therefore is subject to slower quasi-static variations between the pressure in the external ear canal and the ME cavity. These quasi-static pressure changes can be several orders of magnitude larger than the loudest tolerable dynamic sound pressures. Many agree that there is a close relationship between ME pressure (de)regulation and pathology of the tympanic membrane (TM) as well as the ME, but with respect to the underlying mechanisms many questions still remain. This chapter deals with several aspects of quasi-static pressures in the ME. The chapter explains how ME pressure can be measured, discusses the different parts involved in regulating ME pressure, and comments on the connections between ME pressure deregulation and ME pathology. Some recent results are discussed that explore the role of neural mechanisms in regulating quasi-static pressures in the ME.