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Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Decision Considerations - Aerospace Medical Dispositions
Item 30. Ear Drums

The following lists the most common conditions of aeromedical significance, and course of action that should be taken by the examiner as defined by the protocol and disposition in the table. Medical certificates must not be issued to an applicant with medical conditions that require deferral, or for any condition not listed that may result in sudden or subtle incapacitation without consulting the AMCD or the RFS. Medical documentation must be submitted for any condition in order to support an issuance of an airman medical certificate.

Common Conditions and Course of Action

Disease/Condition Class Evaluation Data Disposition
Perforation that has associated pathology All Establish etiology, treatment, and submit all pertinent medical information Requires FAA Decision
Perforation which has resolved without any other clinical symptoms All Submit all pertinent medical information If no physiologic effects - Issue

Otologic Surgery. A history of otologic surgery is not necessarily disqualifying for medical certification. The FAA evaluates each case on an individual basis following review of the otologist's report of surgery. The type of prosthesis used, the person's adaptability and progress following surgery, and the extent of hearing acuity attained are all major factors to be considered. Examiners should defer issuance to an applicant presenting a history of otologic surgery for the first time, sending the completed report of medical examination, with all available supplementary information, to the AMCD.

Some conditions may have several possible causes or exhibit multiple symptomatology. Episodic disorders of dizziness or disequilibrium require careful evaluation and consideration by the FAA. Transient processes, such as those associated with acute labyrinthitis or benign positional vertigo may not disqualify an applicant when fully recovered. (Also see Item 46 for a discussion of syncope and vertigo).

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