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Middle Ear Tests

During a child’s infant, toddler and preschool ages (ages 0 to 5), hearing loss is often associated with middle ear disease. Therefore, the audiologist may also want to perform testing to assess the functioning of the middle ear. These tests include:

Tympanometry
This test assesses the middle ear system, which includes the eardrum and the bones attached to the eardrum. Testing will help identify whether there is fluid in the middle ear, perforation of the eardrum, or wax blocking the ear canal. The test involves placing air pressure into the ear canal, which makes the eardrum move back and forth, providing important information about the mobility of the eardrum. These measurements are called tympanograms and can reveal whether a child has a stiff eardrum, a hole in the eardrum or an eardrum that moves too much.

Acoustic Reflexes
This test involves putting a loud sound in the ear to elicit a response from the middle ear muscles.  It gives information about the integrity of the seventh and eighth cranial nerve pathways.

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