Eustachian Tube Fly/Dive Testing

Gas Supply, Demand and Middle Ear Gas Balance, Part 4.2 – Fly/Dive Comparison

Protocol Description

Through this study researchers will compare a newly developed Eustachian tube function test and standard tests to determine which is best for identifying persons with ear pain (barotrauma) or who develop middle ear inflammation and/or fluid (barotitis) when exposed to rapid changes in air pressure, as for example during airplane flights and scuba diving. Investigators believe that when these conditions occur in people who otherwise have no ear problems, it may be the result of a marginally functioning Eustachian tube that fails to respond when stressed by rapid changes in air pressure.

Eligibility Criteria

Subject to exclusion criteria, the study is accepting individuals of both genders, ages 10 to 50, who fly or dive and experience ear pain or develop middle ear inflammation and/or fluid, as well as those who fly or dive and do not have ear problems.
Males and Females: Ages 10 to 50


The study requires a single visit, which will take several hours. At the visit, participants will have medical history review and a physical examination. Ears will be examined by otoscopy, and ear pressure will be measured by tympanometry. Among other tests to be performed are: sonotubometry, tubomanometry, maneuver sequence, and the Eustachian tube stress test, which is the new test.
Visits: 1 or possibly 2, in the event that initial testing does not elicit symptoms in individuals who usually have symptoms
Duration: 1 visit or up to about 4 weeks if 2 visits are required

Status: Open to Enrollment

Source(s) of Support

National Institutes of Health

Primary Investigator

Cuneyt M. Alper, MD

Contact Information

For more information about the study or enrollment, please contact:
Julie Banks, Research Coordinator