A noninvasive optical technique, which is based on a combination of reflectance spectroscopy and gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy, is demonstrated. It has the potential to improve diagnostics of middle ear infections. An ear phantom prepared with a tissue cavity, which was covered with scattering material, was used for spectroscopic measurements. Diffuse reflectance spectra of the phantom eardrum were measured with a reflectance probe. The presence of oxygen and water vapor as well as gas exchange in the phantom cavity were studied with a specially designed fiber-optic probe for backscattering detection geometry. The results suggest that this method can be developed for improved clinical detection of middle ear infection.