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Comparison of effects of dry versus wet swallowing on Eustachian tube function via a nine-step inflation/deflation test

  • M Kemal Adali (a1) and Cem Uzun (a1)


The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effect of swallowing type (dry versus wet) on the outcome of a nine-step inflation/deflation tympanometric Eustachian tubefunction (ETF) test in healthy adults.

Fourteen normal healthy volunteers, between 19 and 28 years of age, were included in the study. The nine-step test was performed in two different test procedures: (1) test with dry swallows (dry test procedure) and (2) test with liquid swallows (wet test procedure). If the equilibration of middle-ear (ME) pressure was successful in all the steps of the nine-step test, ETF was considered ‘Good’. Otherwise, the test was considered ‘Poor’, and the test was repeated at a second session.

In the dry test procedure, ETF was ‘Good’ in 21 ears at the first session and in 24 ears after the second session (p > 0.05). However, in the wet test procedure, ETF was ‘Good’ in 13 ears at the first session and in 21 ears after the second session (p < 0.05).

At the first session, ETF was ’Good’ in 21 and 13 ears in the dry and wet test procedures, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, after the second session, the overall number of ears with ‘Good’ tubal function was almost the same in both test procedures (24 ears at dry test procedures versus 21 ears at wet test procedures;p > 0.05).

Dry swallowing seems to be more effective for the equilibration of ME pressure. Thus, a single-session dependent evaluation of ETF may be efficient for the dry test procedure of the nine-step test. Swallowing with water may be easier for subjects, but a repetition of the test at a second session may be necessary when the test result is ‘Poor’.




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