Tympanometry is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the conduction bones by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal.
Tympanometry is an objective test of middle-ear function. It is not a hearing test, but rather a measure of energy transmission through the middle ear. The test should not be used to assess the sensitivity of hearing and the results of this test should always be viewed in conjunction with pure tone audiometry. The results of the test for sound and pressure flow, which is conducted using an external probe like instrument placed in the middle ear, are recorded on a tympanogram.
Tympanometry is a valuable component of the audiometric evaluation. It is often beneficial in determining conditions such as middle ear infection (otitis media), fluid accumulation, perforation, or defects/blocks in the Eustachian tube. In evaluating hearing loss, Tympanometry permits a distinction between sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.