In order to detect problems in the middle ear, a test called Tympanometry is performed. This is an objective test used for the determination of the middle ear function and should not be considered as a hearing test per se. The graphical illustration of this test result is known as a Tympanogram.
How Is It Conducted?
The primary step in this test is the physical examination of your ear by your physician. This is carried out to ensure that there is no obstruction inside the ear and that the eardrum is free from any blockage.
The second step consists of the placement of a device inside your ear. Minor changes in the air pressure inside the middle ear are brought about by this device, which makes the eardrum move back and forth. The results of this movement are then recorded onto the Tympanogram.
Special Precautions for the Test
It is of utmost importance that you try your best not to move at all during the conductance of this test. In addition to that, speaking and swallowing are also prohibited. This is so because movements bring about changes in air pressure in the middle ear and give false readings.
It is also important not to get startled by the sounds heard during the test, as they may be loud. This is why it is mandatory to try to stay calm during the entire length of the test.
Maintaining your composure is easy if you are an adult. If, however, a child’s auditory senses are to be tested, it is suggested that you acquaint the child with the prerequisites of the test with the help of a doll. This will lower any anxieties the child might have and may help you in securing accurate readings.
Is it painful?
There is no pain involved in the entire procedure. However, you will feel a slight degree of discomfort for the time the probe is inside your ear. This will not result in any kind of harm. Loud tone and pressure changes are the two things that you will experience as your physician records the measurements.
What is the aim of this test?
This test is conducted to determine accurately how your auditory apparatus reacts to sound as well as to changing pressures.
Physiological features of the middle ear
The features of the normal human ear exhibit stable pressure readings that vary slightly as you change your environment. The appearance of the eardrum is smooth.
Your physician may discover any of the following features at the end of Tympanometry:
- Fluid inside the middle ear cavity
- The presence of a tumor inside the middle ear
- Accumulation of impacted wax
- Lack or complete absence of any contact between the three conduction bones of the middle ear
- One or more perforations in the eardrum
- Scars on the tympanic eardrum
Overall, this test is significant whenever auditory disturbances cannot be determined accurately via Rinne or Weber tests.
If you are concerned about hearing issues in you or your family, be sure to contact PCP For Life at one of our many convenient locations throughout the greater Houston, Texas area. Our friendly staff will be glad to assist you with any questions you have about the hearing tests and your hearing issues.