Exams and Tests
Your doctor will diagnose
hearing loss by asking questions about your symptoms
and past health and by doing a physical exam. He or
she may find during a routine visit that you have some hearing loss.
You will also have a
physical exam of the
ears . Your doctor will use a lighted instrument (an
otoscope) and may find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear,
- An object or obstruction in the ear canal.
- An infection or fluid in the ear.
- Injury to the ear.
If your exam, history,
or symptoms suggest a hearing problem, your doctor may refer you to an audiologist to do hearing tests.
Depending on the suspected cause of hearing loss, you
may also have other tests:
- Imaging tests such as a
CT scan or
MRI may be done when an injury or tumor is
- Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing may be used to test nerve pathways in the brain if your doctor
acoustic neuroma or another nerve problem. This test
measures how well the nerve that helps you hear is working and how fast sound
travels along this nerve.
Tests for your child
Some hearing problems can delay your child's
speech and language development. Early screening for hearing loss can help
prevent many learning, social, and emotional problems that can be related to
speech and language development.1 The
United States Preventive Services Task Force
recommends that all newborns be screened for hearing loss.2 All 50 states require newborn hearing tests for all babies
born in hospitals. Talk to your doctor about whether your child has been or
should be tested.
Signs of noise-induced hearing loss are
appearing at earlier ages and in children. Be sure your child has
regular hearing exams.