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Hearing; Flat Tympanograms


Question

My son's tympanograms test show a flat result. His ear drums do not move when being tested. The doctor said that this usually happens when someone has fluid in their ears, but he does not show any signs of fluid. Why is this happening?

Answer of our experts

Thank you for your inquiry. There are two reasons why your child may have flat tympanograms. First, he may have fluid in the middle of his ears. This is common in children with CdLS; and it should be treated usually with myringotomy and tube placement. However, many children with CdLS have extremely small ear canals. Consequently, it is possible to get a falsely flat tympanogram because the tip of the insert is against the ear canal wall. The differentiation can be made easily by the examining otolaryngologist

RS/ TK 7-13-10

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Recommendation(s)

Ears and hearing

R39
Hearing should be assessed in individuals with CdLS at an early age and should be followed up over time. Those with severe sensorineural hearing loss should be assessed for auditory neuropathy.
R40
Regular eye (ophthalmologic) and ear, nose and throat (otolaryngologic) evaluations are recommended in adults with CdLS.
R41
Otitis media (middle ear infections) with fluid build up and sinusitis in individuals with CdLS should be considered and treated according to the national guidelines for the general population.

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Please take note that the Ask the Expert service is comprised of volunteer professionals in various areas of focus. Answers are not considered a medical, behavioral, or educational consultation. Ask the Expert is not a substitute for the care and attention your child’s personal physician, psychologist, educational consultant, or social worker can deliver.

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