There are a number of tests that can be used to determine how well the middle ear is working. These tests are used primarily with children 3-5 years old, as they are the ones most likely to experience hearing loss caused by middle ear disease.
Tympanometry involves a puff of air being pushed into the ear. The air will cause the eardrum to move. If the eardrum does not move this indicates that there is fluid in the middle ear, a perforated eardrum or a buildup of earwax within the canal.
An acoustic reflex measure is a test used to determine how well the middle ear is working. When presented with sound, the tiny muscles in the middle ear contract. The loudness level at which the acoustic reflex occurs, or if the reflex does not occur at all, provides your audiologist with information on your type of hearing loss.