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Misdiagnosis of hearing loss due to ear canal collapse: a report of two cases

  • Cliodna F. O Mahoney (a1) and Linda M. Luxon (a1)


Collapse of the external auditory meatus during audiometry can lead to spuriously increased hearing thresholds being obtained, particularly at high frequencies, and may simulate conditions such as noise-induced hearing loss, presbyacusis and retrocochlear pathology. Consequently, inappropriate investigations and management may be undertaken. Two patients with elevated thresholds secondary to ear canal collapse are described. The implications of initially failing to identify the true nature of their ‘hearing losses’ are highlighted and strategies to avoid such pitfalls are discussed.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Cliodna F. O Mahoney, Dept of Audiological Medicine, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, 330 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8DA.


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