How are middle ear infections diagnosed?

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Doctors can usually diagnose an ear infection using an instrument called an otoscope, which shines a bright light in the ear. A diagnosis of middle ear infection may be determined by an individual's symptoms and if the eardrum is inflamed or bulging when examined with the otoscope.

Doctors may use other instruments, such as a pneumatic otoscope, or tests, such as tympanometry, to diagnose ear infections. These help doctors know if there is fluid behind the eardrum.

Continue Learning about Ear Disorders

Ear Disorders

Ear Disorders

Your ear is a complex organ composed of the outer, middle and inner ear (as well as fluid). Any disorder involving your ear -- ear infections, tinnitus, Meniere's disease -- can affect either your hearing or your balance. Treatmen...

t options for ear disorders vary based on the type of disorder you have.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.