Tympanometry, what is it?

Tympanometry is the examination that determines the condition of the middle ear, as well as the eardrum’s mobility. It measures the conduction bone,  making different variations of air pressure inside of the ear canal.

Tympanometry is an objective test which tests the middle ear function. Tympanometry is not a hearing test; instead, it measures the energy transmissions that travel through the middle ear, which may indicate of fluid or gas trapped in the middle ear or other issues. The Tympanometry test results should always be used in conjunction with pure tone audiometry (science of measuring hearing ability), especially since the test does not check the sensitivity of someone’s hearing. Tympanometry is very important to the audiometric evaluation. This is a test which shows how the hearing loss may have been caused – by the inner ear, the middle ear or the outer ear. other testing methods, such as Weber and Rinne Testing, do not always provide the same results. This test can be very helpful in diagnosing otitis media by showing the existence of a middle ear effusion, in a primary care setting.What is tympanometry? How is it used? Who should use it?

During the test, one should refrain from moving, speaking or swallowing because these moving change the pressure in the middle ear and can result in false test results. It may be uncomfortable but doing those things may cause the test to be invalid. When the test is being performed, it may be loud and startling but you must stay calm and not be startled. If your child is being tested, you may prepare him for the test by using a doll so the child will know how to act during the test. The more the child knows how the test will feel, the easier it will be for him or her.

How do you know if the test results are normal?

When the Tympanometry test is normal, no fluid will be present inside the middle ear. The normal pressure inside of the middle ear can differ between +50 to -150 decapascals (the units used to measure air pressure). The eardrum appears smooth in a normal tympanometry test. It will also show the normal movement inside of the middle ear along with normal movement of the eardrum, and the bones that help you ear, which are called the conduction bones.

Who administers the test? Can parents do it?

There have been rumors that parents are able to perform tympanometry tests on their own children. Technically, parents could perform the test but it is recommended that a doctor perform it. Parents can purchase the equipment and study on how to perform the test but this can be very costly and their readings may not be near as accurate.What is tympanometry? How is it used? Who should use it?

The tympanometry test is used to measure the quality of your middle ear and to determine if you have Otitis media and other ear problems. It is most commonly used on children but can be done at all ages. It is important to have this performed by a medical professional in order to have the most accurate results.

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