Tympanometry provides information regarding the status of the outer and middle ear. If the tympanic membrane is not functional/ moving as it should, sound will not be transmitted efficiently through the hearing system and hearing sensitivity can be affected.
During the test, a small probe tip is placed in the ear and sound and pressure are presented, moving the tympanic membrane (ear drum) back and forth. The probe evaluates the physical volume of the ear canal and the mobility and position of the tympanic membrane (eg., retracted due to congestion). The test typically takes under 10 seconds and provides valuable information to audiologists and otolaryngologists (eg., fluid in the middle ear space, tympanic membrane perforation).
Tympanometry may not be able to be completed on children that are moving too much. In addition this test sometimes cannot be completed if a patient has a surgically altered ear canal.