Nasal Allergies, Otitis Media, and Middle Ear Blood Flow

Modulation of Trans-Middle Ear Mucosal Gas Exchange – Project 1, Specific Aim 2

Protocol Description

This study will determine if the rate of blood flow to the lining of the middle ear is changed by exposure to an allergy material (ragweed) in persons who have allergic rhinitis (ragweed allergy). Otitis media, the build-up of fluid in the middle ear airspace, may occur if the blood flow in the lining of the middle ear is too high. If it is found that exposure to a material to which one is allergic increases middle ear blood flow, this may provide a clue into the cause of ear problems in allergic individuals.

Eligibility Criteria

Subject to exclusion criteria, the study is accepting healthy individuals of both genders, ages 18 to 50, who have a documented ragweed allergy.
Males and Females: Age 18 to 50


The study requires a screening visit and 2 visits for testing, each of which will take about 2-1/2 hours. In addition to a medical history review and physical examination, blood testing will be done during the screening visit, and middle ear pressure will be measured by tympanometry. During the testing visits, participants will be exposed to ragweed or a placebo and monitored while breathing room air, an oxygen/nitrous-oxide mix, and pure oxygen over 20-minute intervals, with middle ear pressure monitored throughout. X-rays showing the middle ear structure will be taken during a testing visit.
Visits: 3
Duration: 3 weeks

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