The Eustachian tube function test (ETF) is a hearing test that measures how well your Eustachian tube is working. The Eustachian tube is a small tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. It helps to equalize pressure in the middle ear and to drain fluid from the middle ear.
An ETF test is typically performed using a tympanometer. A tympanometer is a device that measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure.
During an ETF test, the audiologist will place a small probe in your ear canal. The probe will emit a series of tones and measure the amount of sound that is reflected back from your eardrum. The audiologist will then adjust the air pressure in the ear canal and repeat the test.
The results of the ETF test can be used to diagnose Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). ETD is a condition in which the Eustachian tube does not work properly. This can lead to a variety of problems, including:
- Ear pain
- Ear fullness
- Hearing loss
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
The ETF test is a safe and painless test. It typically takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.
If you have any concerns about your Eustachian tube function, or if you have any of the symptoms of ETD, it is important to see an audiologist for an ETF test. Early diagnosis and treatment of ETD can help to prevent further complications.