Often used to assess the function of the middle ear, tympanometry is one test that can determine whether your hearing loss can be helped by hearing aids or whether a medical treatment is available to treat your loss instead. It’s also used to detect middle ear problems, especially in children, even if they do not have hearing loss.
A hand-held probe is present in the tympanometer, and it is inserted into the ear. The probe contains three holes; containing a loudspeaker, a microphone, and a pump. An airtight seal is formed due to the pressure of the ear tip against the canal wall when the probe is inserted into the ear canal.
The loudspeaker helps to deliver the tone, whereas the pressure is altered within the sealed canal with the pump. During the pressure sweep, the sound is reflected from the eardrum and it is measured by the microphone. The output is represented in the form of a graph, called a tympanogram.
Tympanometry is helpful in the diagnosis of ear problems that can lead to hearing loss, mostly in children. Through the test, your doctor can check if you have:
- A middle ear infection, also known as Otitis Media
- Fluid in the middle ear
- A perforated tympanic membrane
- Issues with the Eustachian tube that connects the upper throat and nose to the middle ear
The test can be performed every few weeks for some months, to determine how much fluid is in the middle ear over time. Adults also undergo the test as part of a routine hearing test to establish any problems with the middle ear.
At Bloch Wellness we use the tympanometer to measure pressure before the Hyperbaric chamber.- often times knowing the ear pressure and inner ear fluid can prevent an uncomfortable dive in the hbot. We also check ear pressure and fluid in the middle ear before and after adjustments to show the patient how effective our adjustments can be with