Hearing plays an important role in how children learn and understand the world around them. Unfortunately, many children experience ear infections and fluid in the ear. Chronic ear infections are not only painful, but they can lead to a long-term hearing loss.
If your child is prone to ear infections or fluid on the ear, it’s important that you have their hearing assessed to ensure it has not been impacted. It’s also critical that you take them to a doctor who is experienced in treating children who are prone to ear infections. This ensures they get the best treatment possible in a timely manner.
We use tympanometry to determine whether a child has a middle ear infection or fluid in their middle ear. This quick process is painless and can help us determine whether hearing loss is temporary and related to something like fluid in the ear, or whether further testing is needed to pinpoint the cause of the hearing loss.
When you bring your child in for evalutation of possible ear infection, we’ll first evaluate their ear visually using an otoscope. We’ll then place a rubber tipped probe in the ear and change the air pressure in your child’s ear while low-pitched tones are emitted. As the pressure changes, your child's eardrum’s movement is recorded.
While this procedure is not painful, the pressure changes can scare children, so we often encourage parents to be there with their child to comfort them. The results of this test can tell us whether hearing loss is the result of an ear infection or fluid on the ear. Depending on what we find, we can determine the next course of action.