Is Tympanometry Safe?

Discussion in 'Support' started by 3ri0w, Nov 17, 2016.

    1. 3ri0w

      3ri0w Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012, H 2016, 12/2018(?)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noises, ringing came back 12/2018 after 1year of silent
      I have hyperacusis & tinnitus and I was wondering if tympanometry is safe.

      "Next, they’ll place a probe-type device in your ear canal. It may feel a little uncomfortable, and you’ll hear loud tones as the device begins to take measurements. This test changes the air pressure in your ear to make the eardrum move back and forth. Measurements of the movement of your eardrum are recorded in a tympanogram."​

      How loud are the tones? Will the procedure make tinnitus worse?

      How about other tests? Hearing test beeps are loud as hell... How about any other tests they do?

      Is there any real good reason to even perform them... It's not like they are going to be able to make tinnitus/hyperacusis go away or what.
       
    2. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      Not loud at all. I had an MRI with 30dB earplugs in and that was still many times louder than tympanometry. Oddly, there is another post that thinks theirs may have been made worse by tympanometry, but it made no difference at all to mine.
      I guess you suffer with pretty severe hyperacusis. My hearing comes back as "normal", so I can hear most of them very clearly and I don't regard the louder ones as particularly loud - even though I do suffer hyperacusis. The whole point is to see how quietly you can hear, so there is no need for them to start out loudly. Perhaps you could ask that it starts at 60 or 70 dBA?
      It's a good question. I suppose if you have had these tests before and they were normal and you have no reason to suspect a change, then maybe there isn't a point. However, I do know someone that suffers with tinnitus as a consequence of severely notched hearing loss and whenever he puts his hearing aid in, the tinnitus almost vanishes, as his auditory system is no longer putting so much gain into those frequencies.

      Tympanometry is also pretty useless at identifying all but the most severe of middle ear issues. Based on my symptoms I was diagnosed with ETD by 2 different doctors, but on both occasions the tympanometry came back as within range of normal. Effectively, I don't have a middle ear filled with fluid, so the gummy and narrowed tubes don't show up - for some people, it just doesn't work.

      Taken from the NHS research paper Interventions for adult Eustachian tube dysfunction: a systematic review:

      "Eustachian tube dysfunction may occur when the mucosal lining of the tube is swollen, or does not open or close properly. It can occur after the start of a cold and other nose, sinus, ear and throat infections. If the tube is dysfunctional, symptoms such as muffled hearing, pain, tinnitus, reduced hearing, a feeling of fullness in the ear or problems with balance may occur. Long-term ETD has been associated with damage to the middle ear and the eardrum. Complications include otitis media with effusion (glue ear), middle ear atelectasis (retraction of the eardrum) and chronic otitis media. The precise function and mechanisms of the Eustachian tube, the underlying causes of dysfunction and the broader problems associated with middle ear ventilation are complex and not fully understood. From a diagnostic perspective, ETD is also poorly defined.

      There are a number of treatment options aimed at improving Eustachian tube function, but there is limited consensus about management."
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      3ri0w

      3ri0w Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012, H 2016, 12/2018(?)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noises, ringing came back 12/2018 after 1year of silent
      Wow nice that the guy with notched hearing has found a good solution to his problem!

      How does ETD affect your life if you don't mind me asking?
       
    4. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I have tinnitus that is not caused by ETD anyway - but the 2 were caused at the same time. It is a pretty unusual form as it was caused by a drug allergy (not ototoxicity, but an allergic reaction). Part off it comes and goes with the wind, can be in the middle of my head, or in one ear, so I have no control over when it will be bad, or when it will disappear completely for a few hours - which it does most days at some point, before returning later.

      As regards the ETD, this is totally predictable. On days when my sinuses feel open and clear, this does not appear - at all! I can yawn, hiccup, etc. and there is no extra noise in my right ear. However, totally predictably, every single day I wake in the morning with a ring in my right ear and if I yawn it is accompanied by a squelching noise inside my ear. I have isolated this to the physical act of lying down, not being asleep. Alternatively, if I feel stuffy and yawn, hiccup, or belch for that matter, a ringing appears in my right ear. I know exactly when it is going to be bad, even before it can be heard as I can feel the tubes all gumming up. Equally, however, if I pop that ear, or open my jaw widely to open the tubes up (and it pops as it doesn't always), the noise will totally vanish.

      Whilst it is depressing that there is nothing they can do for typical tinnitus, I must admit to being shocked at the total lack of any treatment available for something so obviously mechanical.
       
    5. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The test was hella loud to me. It made me cringe every time it made a beep. I didn't have any hearing damage but be careful.
       
    6. Jiri
      No Mood

      Jiri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + injury
      I had the tympanometry done today and yes, my right ear is ringing super loud now. Louder than it used to. I don't think this procedure is safe for tinnitus sufferers.
       
    7. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      I think there is a potential for tympanometry to exacerbate tinnitus temporarily but not cause permanent damage.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    8. JurgenG
      Approved

      JurgenG Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure / headphone accident maybe?
      I've had a few and it was far from loud, it not supposed to make any sound actually.
       
    9. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I have had the test done a couple times this year. No change to my tinnitus or hearing. So not sure I’d claim it’s unsafe for hyperacusis and tinnitus sufferers.

      It’s like everything from ear wax removal to wearing headphones: some are fine, some are not, and some have severe anxiety.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It is like playing the Russian Roulette, surviving, and saying that this is evidence that the Russian Roulette is a safe activity. The fact that some people got shot in the head (had a horrific spike) proves that it is unsafe. The fact that some people were ok, doesn't prove that it is safe.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Tinnitus is always horrific when it first comes on, or when it spikes. Most of the time it eventually fades (although it can take weeks or months for that to happen).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Ylva
      Doh

      Ylva Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infections + stress + drugs
      Today, I declined this test. Thanks to the forum/thread. I'm glad I did, because it wouldn't have made a difference for what my ENT eventually told me and could've made things worse (you can all guess what he said).

      Bumping for awareness!
       
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