Other types of tests may be used to examine the ear and evaluate hearing. These tests include:
- Acoustic immittance testing (tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing). This 2-minute to 3-minute test measures how well the middle ear relays sound. The soft tip of a small instrument is inserted into the ear canal and adjusted to achieve a tight seal. Sound and air pressure are then directed toward the eardrum. The test is not painful, but slight changes in pressure may be felt or the tone may be heard.
- Vestibular tests (falling and past-pointing tests). These tests can detect problems with areas of the inner ear that help control balance and coordination. During these tests, you will try to maintain your balance and coordination while moving your arms and legs in certain ways, standing on one foot, standing heel-to-toe and performing other maneuvers with your eyes open and closed. Your health professional will make sure that you do not fall.
If your child has repeat ear infections, your doctor may suggest that you buy a simple otoscope that is available for home use.
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