• Deafness (Hearing Loss) Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosis and Tests

Your doctor will perform a physical examination using an otoscope, an instrument with a light at the end. The following may be detected during the examination:

  • Foreign object
  • Collapsed ear drum
  • Earwax
  • Infection
  • Cholesteatoma (destructive skin growth behind eardrum)
  • Fluid in ear canal
  • Hole in ear drum

Tuning Fork Tests: A tuning fork evaluation may also reveal whether hearing loss is caused by damage to the vibrating parts of the middle ear (including eardrum) or damage to nerves of your inner ear.

Audiometry Tests: In these tests, you are told to wear earphones and hear sounds directed to one ear at a time. A range of sounds at various tones are presented to you and you are instructed to signal each time you hear the sound. Each tone is repeated at faint levels to find out when you can barely hear. The same is done with words that the audiologist presents at various tones and decibel levels.

Hearing loss is ranked as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound.

"Mild" Hearing Loss 26 - 40 dB
"Moderate" Hearing Loss 41-55 dB
"Severe" Hearing Loss 56- 70 dB
"Profound" Hearing Loss 91 dB & greater
Totally Deaf Have no hearing at all