Diagnosing Hearing Loss

How is hearing loss diagnosed?

A hearing loss is diagnosed based on the person’s history, behavior, and the results of medical and audiological examinations. If anyone, doctor or someone else, tells you that nothing can be done about your hearing loss and you should just learn to live this it, seek another opinion.

What should I do if I think I have a hearing loss?

See an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist or otologist) or your primary care physician to see if you have a hearing loss and to rule out any medical condition. You may also choose to go to an audiologist directly without seeing a doctor. In this case you would need to sign a waiver, because currently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that you see a physician first. HLAA supports going to an audiologist first.

What will I learn from the doctor?

You will find out from the doctor if you have a hearing loss, what might be causing it and if it can be treated. For example, fluid in the middle ear or wax in the ear canal can cause hearing loss.

If you do have a hearing loss, don’t despair. There are several things you can do to hear and cope better in situations that have caused you difficulty in communicating. In the event that you are diagnosed with a hearing loss the physician should refer you to a qualified hearing health professional for a full hearing test. This test will tell you the degree and type of hearing loss and also determine if you could be helped by hearing aids. The hearing health professional will recommend what type of hearing aid is best for your hearing loss.

If the physician finds no medical cause for your hearing loss and does not refer you for further testing and tells you that nothing can be done for you, you should make an appointment directly with a hearing health professional for a full hearing test and evaluation.