Tympanometry | Pressure Test
This is the pressure test that determines how well the eardrum moves. A humming sound is heard and a small amount of pressure is felt in the ear. This test does not last long - about 10 seconds for each ear - but can give us valuable information and clarify if there is a need for medical attention from your doctor. If a Tympanometry test is performed by the hearing aid specialist, it is performed as a screening tool to determine if a referral is recommended for diagnostic purposes.
Tympanometry is a short test used to determine the function of the middle ear system. This includes appropriate movement of the eardrum and the ossicles or the three small ear bones. It can help confirm the presence or absence of middle ear fluid. If the patient has ear tubes, this test can confirm that the tubes are open and working properly.
It can also determine the function of the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube runs from the throat up to the middle ear. The Eustachian tube equals out the pressure in your middle ear with the atmospheric pressure. For example, when you are on a plane ride and the pressure in the cabin changes you may notice a “popping” sound. This is the sound of your Eustachian tube opening to equalize the pressure in your middle ear. Some individuals experience Eustachian tube dysfunction which can create positive or negative pressure in the middle ear which can lead to ear pain or discomfort.
The results of your tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram, which the hearing professional will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. You will be shown the type, pattern and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you are still able to hear. Your hearing professional will then relate these results to your concerns about your hearing. The next step is to consider treatment solutions.