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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about ear pain, any discharge from the ear and fever. He or she will examine the ears with an otoscope an instrument with a lighted, cone-shaped end piece for looking in the ear canal at the eardrum. The doctor will look for redness and bulging of the eardrum and will check to see if it moves normally by blowing a puff of air through the otoscope. (Eardrums do not move if they are too stiff or if there is fluid behind them.) Your doctor may also do a hearing test called an audiogram to check for hearing problems or a test called a tympanogram that measures how the eardrum moves.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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