With an estimated one in five Americans having some form of hearing loss, how often should you and your loved ones get your hearing checked? At least once a year and whenever you’re experiencing a problem — just as you would for your eyes or teeth.
Getting your hearing screened by a trained, licensed hearing instrument specialist not only helps identify potential hearing problems for early treatment but also goes a long way toward hearing-loss prevention.
Hearing aid providers use various screening tests to gauge the state of your ears and your hearing. Learn about tympanometry, a routine but important test for detecting problems of the middle ear.
What does tympanometry do?
Tympanometry testing gives a current look at the state of your middle ear, which — through the eustachian tube — connects the ear to the back of the nose. The test lets you and your hearing aid provider know how the middle ear’s functioning by detecting potential problems such as the following:
- Earwax blockage in the ear canal
- Fluid behind the ear drum
- Eardrum perforation or rupture
How does the test work?
Quick and painless, tympanometry measures the eardrum’s mobility — or response to pressure — in just a few steps:
- A soft-tipped probe is inserted into the ear.
- Air pressure, released into the ear canal, makes the eardrum move back and forth.
- The eardrum’s movement is depicted on a tympanogram or graph analyzed by the hearing aid provider for signs of problems such as a hole in the eardrum, eustachian tube dysfunction, inner ear fluid, or other issues that can affect hearing.
Who should get this test?
Tympanometry, a time-tested procedure dating back more than 40 years, is used in routine screenings for adults and children. It’s especially performed among younger children, who are more prone to middle-ear infections that can lead to hearing loss.
Catching and treating potential hearing problems early helps reduce the risk of physical, mental, academic, social, and other challenges caused by hearing loss.
Your hearing aid provider will determine which ear and hearing tests to conduct based on your specific needs and circumstances. If you have questions about hearing tests or would like to schedule an evaluation, contact us today.