After knowing the child’s medical history the doctor will physically examine your child. Ears are examined with an instrument called an otoscope.
An otoscope has a light and magnifying lens. The eardrum and outer ear are examined and checked.
The examination may reveal:
- Fluid draining from the middle ear.
- A perforation in the eardrum.
- A bulbous or collapsed eardrum.
- Redness, air bubbles, or pus.
A doctor can also perform a test named tympanometry to verify if the middle ear is working regularly. This test is executed by putting a device inside the ear canal, changing the pressure and making vibrations in the eardrum. Changes are then measured and recorded on a graph for the doctor to analyze.
If the infection has developed, fluid from inside the ear is taken for testing. The fluid analysis will show if there is any kind of bacteria not responding to antibiotics.
Sometimes a computed tomography (CT) of the head is also performed. This is done to check the head for any damages beyond the middle ear.
When it is a case of chronic ear infections, doctors suggest and perform hearing tests.