Your Hearing Evaluation

Your hearing must be tested to find the type of hearing loss you have and how severe it is. Hearing tests show if hearing aids are needed. They also show what sounds you can and can’t hear, so hearing aids can be customized for your personal needs. You will likely also be checked to find out if a health problem has caused your hearing loss.

Audiologist giving hearing test to woman in sound booth.

Testing your hearing

To evaluate your hearing loss, you may have the following tests:

  • A hearing test. This shows which tones, sounds, and words you can and can’t hear. You wear earphones that are attached to a computer (audiometer) in another room. You will be asked to respond when you hear tones and sounds that come through the earphones.

  • Word recognition tests. These show if you can tell the difference between certain words. This helps identify which tones or sounds you are having trouble hearing.

  • Other tests. More tests may be done to learn more about your hearing loss. This may include measuring how well your eardrums are working.

Your medical exam

An exam must be done to find out if your hearing loss is caused by a health problem. During the exam, your ears, nose, and throat are checked. You’ll also be asked about your health, your hearing, and any family history of hearing loss. Your answers will help the healthcare provider understand the problem.

The following healthcare providers may take part in evaluating and treating your hearing loss:

  • An audiologist. This provider evaluates your hearing. He or she then uses the results of this evaluation to help select the best hearing aids for you.

  • An ear, nose, and throat healthcare provider (otolaryngologist). This provider examines you to find out if there is a health reason for your hearing loss. If there is, he or she may advise treatment in addition to, or instead of, hearing aids.

  • A hearing aid specialist. He or she can also help you select the hearing aids best suited to your hearing loss.

  • Your family healthcare provider. He or she may also do a medical exam and evaluate your family history for hearing-related problems.

Online Medical Reviewer: Ashutosh Kacker MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2019
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