Ear infections are no fun for anyone, but it can help to ease the anxiety if you know what to expect when you or your child needs to visit the ear, nose, and throat doctor. Here are the five types of test you may be asked to consent to when visiting the office because of an ear infection.

  1. The first thing the ENT doctor or nurse will likely do is a thorough ear exam using a pneumatic otosocope, a handheld device like the one pictured to the left that allows him or her to look at the ear drum and deliver a small puff of air to see how the ear drum reacts. An infected ear drum doesn’t move freely when the pressure is changed with the puff of air.
  2.  If there has been a buildup of fluid behind the ear drum for a long period of time, an ENT professional may take a sample of the fluid by puncturing the eardrum and extracting a sample of it. Tests run on the fluid sample can to help discern what type of bacteria is causing the infection.
  3. Children who have experienced fluid behind the ear drum for more than three months or who are suspected of having hearing loss may be asked to undergo a hearing exam. This is typically a simple procedure where the child is watched or asked to respond to tones or words.
  4. If your ENT professional suspects immune problems, he or she may recommend a blood test.

If you’re concerned or have further questions about what test you or your child might be asked to undergo for an ear infection, give us a call! We’re happy to talk you through the process every step of the way.

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