Tympanometry being performed in a child


What is tympanometry?

Tympanometry is a diagnostic procedure used to assess the health of the middle ear. It measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure, which provides information about the condition of the middle ear.

Who uses Tympanometry and why?

Tympanometry is commonly used by audiologists, otologists, and other healthcare professionals to diagnose a wide range of ear-related problems, including hearing loss, ear infections, and eustachian tube dysfunction.

In my last article on Ear Infections, I wrote about all the investigations for diagnosing ear problems. Tympanometry was one of them.

One of the primary uses of tympanometry is in the evaluation of hearing loss. By measuring the movement of the eardrum in response to sound, tympanometry can help determine whether hearing loss is due to problems in the middle ear or elsewhere in the auditory system. This information can be used to guide treatment recommendations and help improve outcomes for patients with hearing difficulties.

In addition to hearing loss, tympanometry can also be used to diagnose other conditions that affect the middle ear. For example, it is commonly used to evaluate patients with chronic ear infections or those who have experienced trauma to the ear.

By providing a detailed picture of the condition of the middle ear, tympanometry can help healthcare professionals develop effective treatment plans that address the underlying causes of these conditions. Overall, tympanometry is a valuable tool in the diagnosis and management of a wide range of ear-related problems.

Uses of tympanometry

One of the primary uses of tympanometry is to assess middle ear function in individuals with hearing loss or other auditory symptoms.

By measuring the pressure and compliance of the eardrum, tympanometry can help identify conditions such as otitis media, eustachian tube dysfunction, and tympanic membrane perforation.

How is tympanometry performed?

This test is typically performed by an audiologist, who is a healthcare professional specializing in hearing and balance disorders.

Patient undergoing tympanometry
Image source: Canva

Tympanometry is a diagnostic test that measures the movement of the eardrum to assess the function of the middle ear.

The procedure involves using an instrument called a tympanometer, which has a probe that is placed in the ear canal.

The tympanometer then generates a sound and measures the response of the eardrum to the sound. This helps to determine if there is any blockage or damage in the middle ear that may be causing hearing loss or other issues.

Tympanometry results can help determine the best treatment options, including hearing aids or other interventions, to improve hearing function and quality of life.

Overall, this test is an important tool in diagnosing and managing hearing disorders.

In addition, tympanometry can be used to determine the effectiveness of treatments such as ear tubes or antibiotics by monitoring changes in middle ear function over time.

The test is quick and painless, and the results can provide valuable insights into a patient’s hearing health. If you are experiencing hearing loss or other auditory symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with an audiologist or other healthcare professional who can perform a comprehensive evaluation, including tympanometry.

Tympanometry has several uses in diagnosing hearing problems. It can detect fluid buildup in the middle ear, which is a common cause of hearing loss, particularly in children.

Tympanometry can also identify problems with the eardrum, such as perforations or scarring, which can affect hearing. Additionally, it can help diagnose problems with the tiny bones in the middle ear that are responsible for transmitting sound to the inner ear.


Overall, tympanometry is an important tool in diagnosing and treating hearing problems. It provides valuable information about the health and function of the middle ear, which can guide treatment decisions and improve outcomes for patients.

If you are experiencing hearing problems or have concerns about your hearing health, talk to your healthcare provider about whether tympanometry may be appropriate for you.

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