Exams and Tests
Middle ear infections are usually diagnosed using a
health history, a
physical exam, and an
The doctor uses a pneumatic otoscope to look at the eardrum for signs of an ear infection or fluid buildup. For example, the doctor can see if the eardrum moves freely when the pneumatic otoscope pushes air into the ear.
Other tests may include:
- Tympanometry, which measures how the
eardrum responds to a change of air pressure inside the ear.
- Hearing tests. These tests are
recommended for children who have had fluid in one or both ears (otitis media with effusion) for a total of 3 months.
The tests may be done sooner if hearing loss is
- Tympanocentesis. This test can remove fluid if it has stayed behind the eardrum (chronic otitis media with effusion) or if infection continues
even with antibiotics.
- Blood tests, which are done if there are signs of immune
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology
September 10, 2012
©1995-2012, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information,
How this information was developed.