shutterstock_102322600Tympanometry is a diagnostic procedure that examines the middle ear by applying varying air pressure in the ear canal to see how the ear responds. A probe is inserted into the ear to change the air pressure and produce a tone by making the ear drum move back and forth. The responses are then measured. The patient may not speak, move, or swallow during the test because these actions can affect the ear pressure.

Tympanometry measures the functionality of the ear drum, or tympanic membrane, by measuring the ear’s response to sound and different pressures. Abnormal results may be the result of fluid in the middle ear, perforated or scarred ear drum, impacted ear wax, a tumor, or lack of contact between the conduction bones of the middle ear.