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Middle Ear

FAA Medical Exam Techniques

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Excerpts from AME Guide
Decision Considerations

Exam Techniques


Body Area Index
AME Guide
CFR Part 67 Index
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Ear Drum

Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners
Application Process for Medical Certification

Exam Techniques and Criteria for Qualification
Items 25-30. Ear, Nose, and Throat - Middle Ear

Pathology of the middle ear may be demonstrated by changes in the appearance and mobility of the tympanic membrane. The applicant may only complain of stuffiness of the ears and/or loss of hearing. An upper respiratory infection greatly increases the risk of aerotitis media with pain, deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo due to lessened aeration of the middle ear from eustachian tube dysfunction.

When the applicant is taking medication for an ENT condition, it is important that the Examiner become fully aware of the underlying pathology, present status, and the length of time the medication has been used. If the condition is not a threat to aviation safety, the treatment consists solely of antibiotics, and the antibiotics have been taken over a sufficient period to rule out the likelihood of adverse side effects, the Examiner may make the certification decision. The same approach should be taken when considering the significance of prior surgery such as myringotomy, mastoidectomy, or tympanoplasty.

Simple perforation without associated symptoms or pathology is not disqualifying. When in doubt, the Examiner should not hesitate to defer issuance and refer the matter to the AMCD. The services of consultant ENT specialists are available to the FAA to help in determining the safety implications of complicated conditions.

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Exam Techniques

Other Regions of Head and Neck

25. Head, Face, Neck, and Scalp 42. Upper and Lower Extremities
26. Nose 43. Spine and other Musculoskeletal
27. Sinuses 44. Identifying Body Marks, Scars, Tattoos
28. Mouth and Throat 45. Lymphatics
29. Ear 46. Neurologic
30. Ear Drums 47. Psychiatric Conditions
31. Eyes 48. General Systemic
32. Ophthalmoscopic 49. Hearing
33. Pupils 50. Distant Vision
34. Ocular Motility 51. Near and Intermediate Vision
35. Lungs and Chest 52. Color Vision
36. Heart 53. Field of Vision
37. Vascular System 54. Heterophoria
38. Abdomen and Viscera 55. Blood Pressure
39. Anus (No Disposition) 56. Pulse
40. Skin 57. Urinalysis
41. G-U System 58. ECG (No Disposition)

Note: Numbers correspond to the required entry in the AME portion of the FAA Form 8500-8

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