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To diagnose hearing loss, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and past health. A doctor may find that you have some hearing loss during a routine visit.
Your doctor will use a lighted device called an otoscope to look for problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear. These might include:
An object or obstruction in the ear canal.
An infection or fluid in the ear.
Injury to the ear.
If the doctor thinks that you have hearing loss, you'll have hearing tests to check whether you have hearing loss and find out how severe it is. You may be referred to an audiologist for the tests. These tests may include:
A tuning fork test. It helps your doctor know which kind of hearing loss you have.
Other tests to find out what kind of hearing loss you have or which part of your ear is affected.
Depending on what might be causing your hearing loss, you may also have other tests.
Tests such as a CT scan or an MRI may be done when an injury or tumor is suspected.
Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing.
This may be used to test nerve pathways in the brain if your doctor thinks you might have an 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.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!