Amongst children of preschool age in three Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory there were only seven of 425 ears (1.7%) with normal tympanic membrane mobility. Abnormal tympanograms without signs of inflammation were prevalent in the youngest infants studied. Tympanic membrane perforations were detected in 5/32 = 16% of infants at four to six months of age and in some 30% of ears of older children.

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