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Diagnosis of Hearing Loss


Dr. Kent

If you are experiencing hearing loss, your healthcare provider may order tests to diagnose the cause. An audiometry exam, which tests your ability to hear sounds based on intensity and tone, will reveal the type and amount of hearing loss you are experiencing. This is the test audiologists use to diagnose noise-induced hearing loss.

There are three main requirements for diagnosis of noise-induced hearing loss. The first is high frequency hearing impairment. The second is exposure to potentially hazardous levels of noise, and the third is an identifiable high frequency audiometric notch. There are also modifying factors that the provider will consider, such as your age, clinical history, and possibility of other causes or complications.

Your healthcare provider may examine your ear with an otoscope to determine if your ear drum can vibrate freely. In addition, your provider might order a tympanogram, which is a test used to detect problems in the middle ear, such as:

  • An abnormal growth
  • Fluid
  • Impacted ear wax
  • Lack of contact between the conduction bones
  • Perforated ear drum, or
  • Scarring of the tympanic membrane or structures

If a tumor or fracture is suspected, your healthcare provider may order a CT or MRI scan to diagnose the condition.

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The Hearing Center of Excellence fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. It supports the development, exchange and adoption of best practices, research, measures of effectiveness and clinical care guidelines to reduce the prevalence and cost of hearing loss and tinnitus among Warriors and Veterans. Read more

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