5.0 of 4 Ratings
A 72-year-old man presents to his primary care physician with progressively worsening hearing loss. He states that his trouble with hearing began approximately 7-8 years ago. He is able to hear when someone is speaking to him; however, he has difficulty with understanding what is being said, especially when there is background noise. In addition to his current symptoms, he reports a steady ringing in both ears, and at times experiences dizziness. Medical history is significant for three prior episodes of acute otitis media. Family history is notable for his father being diagnosed with cholesteatoma. His temperature is 98.6°F (37°C), blood pressure is 138/88 mmHg, pulse is 14/min, and respirations are 13/min. On physical exam, when a tuning fork is placed in the middle of the patient's forehead, sound is appreciated equally on both ears. When a tuning fork is placed by the external auditory canal and subsequently on the mastoid process, air conduction is greater than bone conduction. Which of the following is most likely the cause of this patient's symptoms?
Accumulation of desquamated keratin debri
Eustachian tube obstruction secondary to nasopharyngeal inflammatory edema
Stapedial abnormal bone growth
Cochlear hair cell degeneration
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