What is tympanometry, and why do we do it?

Tympanometry is a diagnostic test we use to evaluate the function of the middle ear. During the test, a small probe is gently placed into the ear canal. The probe changes the air pressure inside the ear canal and emits tones to measure the movement of the eardrum in response to the pressure changes.

The primary purpose of tympanometry is to assess the condition of the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the ossicles (tiny bones) behind it. This test can help diagnose various middle ear problems, such as fluid in the middle ear (effusion), ear infections, perforations in the eardrum, and any problems with the Eustachian tube.

Tympanometry is particularly useful in diagnosing conditions such as otitis media (middle ear infection), adhesive otitis media (fluid buildup in the middle ear), tympanic membrane perforation (hole in the eardrum), and otosclerosis (a condition where the ossicles become fixed and cannot conduct sound properly).

Overall, tympanometry provides valuable information to healthcare providers about the function of the middle ear, aiding in the diagnosis and management of various ear-related conditions.

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