Tympanometry is a quick way to test the function of the outer and middle ear. A probe sits gently at the outer ear, sealing the ear canal. Air is gently pumped into, and then out of the ear canal while small sounds are made to tense the ear drum. The movement of the ear drum is measured.
It Does Not Test Hearing.
Type A: Peak or mountain shape – indicates normal middle ear function
Type B: Flat line – indicates a blocked canal or middle ear problems
Type C: Small peak to the left – indicates ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction)
Children with B and C results require a consultation with an Ear Nurse or GP
NZ preschools and primary schools are visited regularly by a Vision Hearing Technician. All children at preschool are tested with tympanometry. School entrants are assessed with tympanometry and a hearing test. Parents of those children who fail tympanometry on two consecutive visits are sent a letter asking them to consult with an Ear Nurse or GP.