Conclusions. Quality of hearing is one of the key conditions promoting habitual sniffing associated with closing failure of the Eustachian tube and sniffing may stop with deterioration of hearing due to progression of the disease. Objective. To examine habitual sniffing associated with closing failure of the Eustachian tube and hearing level in patients with cholesteatoma. Patients and methods. A total of 171 patients with middle ear cholesteatoma treated in Tohoku University Hospital (106 sides in 101 patients, 63 males and 38 females, mean age 43.3 years), and Sendai Ear Surgi Center (70 sides in 70 patients, 37 males and 33 females, mean age 42.7 years) were included. The patients were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of habitual sniffing, and pre- and postoperative hearing was compared between the two groups. Results. Habitual sniffing was not found in patients with air conduction hearing level worse than 60 dB or air-bone gap larger than 40 dB. Habitual sniffing disappeared in all patients with expanded air-bone gaps in lower frequency regions after surgery.
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