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Tympanometry

Technique that varies air pressure in the ear canal to test how well the middle-ear functions.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Autoinflation for hearing loss associated with otitis media with effusion (glue ear)

Otitis media with effusion (OME) or 'glue ear' is very common in children and the hearing loss and discomfort, especially where the effusion is bilateral and long‐lasting, may lead to problems with language, development and behaviour. There are a number of treatment options including steroids, antibiotics, decongestants, antihistamines and surgery (the insertion of grommets (ventilation tubes)). Grommet insertion is one of the commonest operations of childhood. The best treatment strategy remains controversial, however, as glue ear often resolves spontaneously within a few months.

Evidence assessment of the accuracy of methods of diagnosing middle ear effusion in children with otitis media with effusion

OBJECTIVES: We report the findings of an evidence assessment on the accuracy of methods of diagnosing middle ear effusion in children with otitis media with effusion (OME).

Determining the presence or absence of middle ear disorders: an evidence-based systematic review on the diagnostic accuracy of selected assessment instruments

PURPOSE: To conduct an evidence-based systematic review on the state of the evidence and the diagnostic accuracy of multifrequency tympanometry (MFT), 1000 Hz tympanometry, and wideband acoustic transfer functions in determining the presence or absence of middle ear disorders.

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Summaries for consumers

Autoinflation for hearing loss associated with otitis media with effusion (glue ear)

Otitis media with effusion (OME) or 'glue ear' is very common in children and the hearing loss and discomfort, especially where the effusion is bilateral and long‐lasting, may lead to problems with language, development and behaviour. There are a number of treatment options including steroids, antibiotics, decongestants, antihistamines and surgery (the insertion of grommets (ventilation tubes)). Grommet insertion is one of the commonest operations of childhood. The best treatment strategy remains controversial, however, as glue ear often resolves spontaneously within a few months.

What do ear examinations involve?

Your doctor may recommend an ear examination, if you have sudden or gradual hearing loss, ringing in your ears (tinnitus), earache, dizziness or if they think you might have a middle ear infection. Also, if a fluid comes out of your ear or if you have injured your lower jaw. Read about what types of ear examination there are.

Antibiotics for acute middle ear infection (acute otitis media) in children

This review compared 1) the clinical effectiveness and safety of antibiotics against placebo in children with an acute middle ear infection (acute otitis media (AOM)) and 2) the clinical effectiveness and safety of antibiotics against expectant observation (observational approaches in which prescriptions may or may not be provided) in children with AOM.

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