Do you know about Tympanometry? Tympanometry is a test done to diagnose the functionality of the middle ear. This is done when a problem in the middle ear is suspected. It has been generally observed that hearing loss goes undetected for a long time. Avoiding embarrassment from peers because of the hearing loss may be a possible reason why many avoid treating hearing loss. However if hearing loss goes untreated for long, the problem only gets worse. It means missing out on important information. It ultimately leads to social isolation and depression thereafter. So a visit to the audiologist is crucial even with the slightest symptom of hearing loss. Hearing Plus is India’s largest chain of hearing aid centers providing professional audiological services to restore hearing problems both for children and adults. In this blog we would explain the facts about Tympanometry.
What is Tympanometry?
Tympanometry is a test to analyze the functioning of the ear drum and the middle ear. The test is conducted by creating air pressure vibrations in the ear canal. It is done to evaluate the transmission levels in the middle ear. Tympanometry helps the audiologist to understand whether the hearing loss is of the sensorineural nature or of the conductive nature. The readings made during the test are recorded on a graph called the Tympanogram. Normally when the air pressures are applied in the ear canal, the ear drums should be able to move easily. But sometimes there may be ear infections inside the middle ear. The Eustachian tube, connects the back of the nose, the throat with the middle ear. This may not work well and the eardrums do not move as well as they should. This gets detected in the Tympanometry test.
The Tympanometry Procedure:
Prior to the actual test the doctor looks inside the ear canal. This is done with a special instrument for looking into the ear, called otoscope. The audiologist does this to ensure that no foreign object is obstructing the eardrum. Following this a probe type device is placed in the ear. Then different ear pressures are generated in the ear. The movement of the eardrums as a result of the application of different air pressures occurs. The measurement of the eardrums along with other readings is noted. During the process the patient may feel a bit uneasy. He or she is likely to hear loud tones as the device starts recording the measurements. The process of Tympanometry can be carried out on young children even. When the procedure is being carried out, the patient is not allowed to speak or swallow. This is to done to avoid any incorrect readings being recorded. Extra care is to be given for children on whom the test is being done. Normal results from the test may be the absence of any fluid in the middle ear, normal movements of the eardrum and conducting bones. If the results are abnormal, it may be because of the presence of fluid in the middle ear. Other abnormalities may be perforation of the eardrum, lack of contact between conduction bones of the middle ear etc.