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Your hearing must be tested to find the nature and extent of your hearing loss. 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 examined to find out if a medical problem has caused your hearing loss.
To evaluate your hearing loss, the following tests may be done:
A hearing test shows which tones, sounds, and words you can and can’t hear. You wear earphones that are attached to an audiometer (computer) in another room. You will be asked to respond when you hear tones and sounds that come through the earphones.
Word recognition tests show if you can tell the difference between certain words. This helps identify which tones or sounds you are having trouble hearing.
Other tests may be done to learn more about your hearing loss, such as measuring how well your eardrums are working.
An exam must be done to find out if your hearing loss is caused by a medical problem. During the exam, your ears, nose, and throat are examined. Also, you’ll be asked about your health, your hearing, and any family history of hearing loss. Your answers will help the doctor understand the problem.
The following healthcare providers may be involved in the evaluation and treatment of your hearing loss:
An audiologist evaluates your hearing. He or she then uses the results of this evaluation to help select the best hearing aids for you.
An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) examines you to find out if there is a medical reason for your hearing loss. If there is, he or she may recommend treatment in addition to, or instead of, hearing aids.
A hearing aid specialist can also help you select the hearing aids best suited to your hearing loss.
Your family doctor may also do a medical exam.