Using an otoscope (a little hand-held instrument with a light), your doctor will examine your ear to make sure the ear canal is not blocked and to check for an ear infection. You doctor may use a tuning fork to help determine if hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural.

Your doctor may refer you to another doctor who specializes in hearing disorders (otologists or otolaryngologists). There are many tests to measure hearing loss or track down its cause.

Audiometry is a test that measures hearing loss with an electronic device. To find out whether babies and children have profound hearing loss, doctors use otoacoustic emissions testing (OAEs). If an infant or child fails otoacoustic emissions testing, auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing is performed.

Neurological tests including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test or a computerized tomography (CT) scan may be performed to check for possible tumours involving the auditory (hearing) nerve, especially for people with hearing loss that is significantly worse in one ear.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team