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What is Tympanometry?

Examining The Middle Ear

Tympanometry is a simple medical test that allows us to measure the function and movement of the eardrum and middle ear. It helps us determine whether your hearing loss can be helped by hearing aids or if another one of our treatments would be more suitable. Even if you aren't experiencing hearing loss, tympanometry can pick up middle ear problems, especially in children.

You might be wondering, what is the middle ear? To give a quick explanation of the structure of your ear, this is made up of three parts – the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. When there is a problem within the middle ear, this makes it harder for sound to move from your outer ear to your inner ear and then to your brain. A middle ear test can rule out any problems within the middle ear to determine the cause of your hearing loss.

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What to expect during your Tympanometry appointment

Tympanometry comes as part of our standard hearing consultation. Once you're seated and comfortable, we'll place the device inside your ear. This isn't an uncomfortable experience, in fact, it just feels like an earplug. The tool then gets to work on causing the air pressure in your ear canal to change, a sensation which is often compared to that of taking-off and landing in a plane. Whilst this pressure is changing, the device will measure and record your eardrum's movement, so it's important that you're quiet and still during the test. During the test your Audiologist will see a graph on a device called a Tympanogram. This device will display the results of your middle ear test. Highlighting any problems within the middle ear.

Why is Tympanometry used?

Used by Audiologists to detect several things within the middle ear. Such as, the presence of fluid, a middle ear infection or a perforated ear drum. This test is particularly important for children but may also be offered to adults as part of a standard hearing consultation. This test may sometimes help the Audiologist determine the cause of your hearing loss.

Adults and children, who require the medical approval to use hearing aids, will require a tympanometry test. This will be to ensure there is no fluid within your middle ear, as this may indicate hearing aids are not actually necessary and in fact this fluid has been the cause of your hearing loss. If this is the case, your Audiologist will suggest ways to treat this, as fortunately this condition is temporary and treatable.

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