Impedance Audiometry

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Impedance Audiometry

Impedance audiometry is an objective technique based on the measurement of middle ear
pressure, stapedius reflexes, and tympanic membrane tension. It is one of the most prevalent
and precise methods for assessing the middle ear.

Why is impedance audiometry performed?

Impedance audiometry tests include the following:

  • Tympanometry, which evaluates middle ear pressure by measuring the stapedius
    reflex Eustachian Tube Function Test
    Essentially, this examination evaluates the health of the middle ear. This study is extremely
    useful for diagnosing:
  • Middle ear infection with effusion enlargement of adenoids or tonsils
  • Eustachian tube disorder
  • Otosclerosis fracture of the ossicular chain
  • Facial palsy

Impedance test outcomes and tympanogram

  • Impedance audiometry is used to evaluate the resistance of the middle ear structures
    (tympanic membrane and ossicular chain) to the transmission of mechanical
    vibratory energy (sound waves) from the air to the liquids present in the cochlea.
    Therefore, it provides detailed information about the middle ear’s operation
    (eardrum-ossicular system).
  • It is a non-invasive, simple assessment aiming to detect any middle ear
    pathologies-related hearing issues (eg catarrhal otitis media, tympanosclerosis,
    otosclerosis, etc.).
  • Typically, impedance measurements consist of tympanometry and the investigation
    of the stapedial reflex. To perform tympanometry, a probe with the requisite soft
    rubber pad for a proper seal is inserted into the external auditory canal.
  • The exact pressure in the middle ear is shown by a graph called a tympanogram,
    which appears as a bell-shaped curve.
  • The graphic representation of the tympanometric curve provides the professional
    with valuable information regarding the middle ear’s condition. In general, the
    resulting curves are classified as:
      ➔ Type A tympanogram (bell curve, traditional peaking at zero);
      ➔ Type B tympanogram (flat, sign of redoubled rigidity, index of endotympanic
    effusion as within the case of infected inflammation media);
      ➔ Type C tympanogram (increased rigidity, index of endotympanic effusion as
    in the case of purulent otitis media) (curve with normal morphology with
    peak shifted to negative pressure values, typical of otitis media without
      ➔ Curves of types D and E, which are uncommon, always indicate middle ear
    pathology. Tympanometry also permits the investigation of the Eustachian
    tube’s functionality, whereas the examination of the stapedial reflex is
    extremely helpful in identifying various pathological conditions that can
    impact the middle ear (eg. Otosclerosis).

Impedance audiometry for Children

  • The impedance test and, in particular, the tympanogram offer the specialist
    fundamental information regarding the presence or absence of middle ear
    inflammation in youngsters.
  • Impedance audiometry is painless and non-invasive, however, it involves a tiny
    amount of movement from the child during the measurement. This examination is
    intended for children with speech impairment, ear pain, frequent infections, mouth
    breathing, snoring, asthma, sinus obstruction, tonsil hypertrophy type III, and
    hearing loss. An otolaryngologist examines the patient’s hearing.
    The impedance audiometry test can be performed during sleep because cooperation is not
    required. For children who are very terrified of exams, it is recommended that the
    examination be administered while they are asleep. Please contact us sooner if you wish to
    examine your child in this manner.
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