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Introduction to Middle Ear and Tympanic Membrane Disorders

By

Richard T. Miyamoto

, MD, MS, Indiana University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
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Middle ear disorders may be secondary to infection, eustachian tube obstruction, or trauma. Information about objects placed in the ear and symptoms such as rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, sore throat, upper respiratory infection, allergies, headache, systemic symptoms, and fever aid in making a diagnosis. The appearance of the external auditory canal and tympanic membrane often yields a diagnosis. The nose, nasopharynx, and oropharynx are examined for signs of infection and allergy and for evidence of tumors.

Middle ear function is evaluated with use of pneumatic otoscopy, the Weber and Rinne tuning fork tests, tympanometry, and audiologic tests.

(See also Otic Tumors.)

Tympanic membrane of right ear (A); tympanic cavity with tympanic membrane removed (B)

Tympanic membrane of right ear (A); tympanic cavity with tympanic membrane removed (B)
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