Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Tympanometry

Tympanogram; Otitis media - tympanometry; Effusion - tympanometry

 

Tympanometry is a test used to detect problems in the middle ear.

How the Test is Performed

 

Before the test, your health care provider will look inside your ear to make sure nothing is blocking the eardrum.

Next, a device is placed into your ear. This device changes the air pressure in your ear and makes the eardrum move back and forth. A machine records the results on graphs called tympanograms.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

You should not move, speak, or swallow during the test. Such movements can change the pressure in the middle ear and give incorrect test results.

The sounds heard during the test may be loud. This may be startling. You will need to try very hard to stay calm and not get startled during the test. If your child is to have this test done, it may be helpful to show how the test is done using a doll. The more your child knows what to expect and why the test is done, the less nervous your child will be.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

There may be some discomfort while the probe is in the ear, but no harm will result. You will hear a loud tone and feel pressure in your ear as the measurements are taken.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

This test measures how your ear reacts to sound and different pressures.

 

Normal Results

 

The pressure inside the middle ear can vary by a very small amount. The eardrum should look smooth.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

Tympanometry may reveal any of the following:

  • A tumor in the middle ear
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Impacted ear wax
  • Lack of contact between the conduction bones of the middle ear
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Scarring of the tympanic membrane

 

Risks

 

There are no risks with this test.

 

 

References

Amundsen GA. Tympanometry. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 75.

Bauer CA, Jenkins HA. Otologic symptoms and syndromes. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 156.

Lieberthal AS, Carroll AE, Chonmaitree T, et al. The diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. Pediatrics. 2013;131(3):e964-e999. PMID: 23439909. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439909.

 
  • Ear anatomy

    Ear anatomy - illustration

    The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

    Ear anatomy

    illustration

  • Otoscope examination

    Otoscope examination - illustration

    An otoscope is a tool which shines a beam of light to help visualize and examine the condition of the ear canal and eardrum. Examining the ear can reveal the cause of symptoms such as an earache, the ear feeling full, or hearing loss.

    Otoscope examination

    illustration

    • Ear anatomy

      Ear anatomy - illustration

      The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

      Ear anatomy

      illustration

    • Otoscope examination

      Otoscope examination - illustration

      An otoscope is a tool which shines a beam of light to help visualize and examine the condition of the ear canal and eardrum. Examining the ear can reveal the cause of symptoms such as an earache, the ear feeling full, or hearing loss.

      Otoscope examination

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Tests for Tympanometry

       

       

      Review Date: 5/18/2016

      Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
      adam.com

       
       
       

       

       

      A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



      Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.