Tympanometry is a painless, non-invasive test that measures the movement of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the middle ear bones (ossicles) in response to changes in air pressure in the ear canal. It is also known as impedance audiometry.
Tympanometry is used to diagnose and monitor a variety of ear conditions, including:
- Otitis media (middle ear infection)
- Eardrum perforation
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Tumors in the middle ear
- Otosclerosis (hardening of the middle ear bones)
- Meniere’s disease
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
Tympanometry is also used to assess the effectiveness of hearing aids and other treatments.
During a tympanometry test, a small probe is placed in the ear canal. The probe emits a series of tones and measures the amount of sound that is reflected back from the eardrum and ossicles. The results of the test are displayed on a graph called a tympanogram.
The tympanogram shows the amount of sound reflected back from the eardrum at different air pressures. The peak of the tympanogram is called the peak compliance. The peak compliance is a measure of the flexibility and mobility of the eardrum and ossicles.
The tympanogram can also be used to measure the volume of the ear canal. This information can be used to diagnose and monitor conditions such as earwax buildup and tumors in the ear canal.
Tympanometry is a safe and effective test for people of all ages, including children. It typically takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.
If you have any concerns about your hearing, or if you have a history of ear problems, it is important to see an audiologist for a hearing assessment. Tympanometry is a valuable tool that can help diagnose and monitor a variety of ear conditions.