What is tympanometry and why is it done?

If you have hearing problems and have considered speaking to a medical professional about the issue, then it’s likely you’ll have encountered the word tympanometry. Especially if you’re in the process of trying to determine what exactly the problem is. Below we explore what tympanometry is and why it’s carried out.

What is it?

Tympanometry is a test performed to assess the function and movement of the eardrum and middle ear. The test will begin with the professional inspecting your inner ear first: by using an otoscope, the doctor will be able to see if there are any foreign objects blocking your ear canal – be it ear wax, or something else. Then, a probe attached to a tympanometer will be inserted into your ear. At this point, you’ll hear loud tones, and the test will change the air pressure inside your ear to move the eardrum back and forth. The tympanogram will record measurements of your eardrum’s movement that can be instructive for diagnosing your condition. This test should take two minutes or less for both ears. 

Why is it performed?

This test can help diagnose issues in the middle ear and the tympanic membrane. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum and the test can be used to diagnose any issues that are affecting this intricate part of the ear. The tympanic membrane, meanwhile, is the tissue that separates the inner and outer ear. Overall, this test can efficiently check for issues such as fluid in the inner ear, a middle ear infection, a perforation, or a problem with the eustachian tube

Usually, it’s a test that’s performed on children with suspected inner ear problems, but it can also be useful for adults during a routine hearing test. If you’re seeking a hearing aid, this test will often be used to ensure that this is the right course of action. 

Associated risks?

There are no risks associated with the test. It’s a routine diagnostic process that’s performed frequently.

Tympanometry, therefore, is an excellent step to working out what might be causing impaired hearing or hearing loss. If you’ve been experiencing hearing issues, then it could be worth finding an audiologist and seeing if tympanometry might diagnose the issue. Getting your hearing checked can feel daunting initially, but by fully understanding the tests involved you should have peace of mind. 


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team

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