Immittance testing (tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing)
When conducted with the PTA, immittance testing determines the type of hearing difficulty (the origin/source of the problem). For example, it would identify if you had a small perforation in your ear, that is not visible with the ear examination.
A small probe is placed in each of your ears and records the size of your ear canal, your middle ear pressure and how your eardrum moves in response to sounds.
Acoustic reflex testing
An acoustic reflex is the protective mechanism of your ear. Just like you instinctively pull your hand away from a hot plate, your ear will automatically retract the tympanic membrane when loud sounds enter the ear. This action reduces the intensity of the sound that enters the main organ of hearing (cochlea) and thus reduces damage to your ears.
When testing your ear’s reflexes, we make use of an identical probe to the one used for Tympanometry. You will listen to a short burst of loud sounds under a controlled environment. The reflex of the muscles in your middle ear is thereby tested.