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How is hearing impairment diagnosed in children and adults?

Children are usually screened for hearing impairment when they are born. Sometimes hearing impairment becomes clear later if children don't react to noises. If you suspect you or your child has hearing loss, go see a doctor. He or she will perform some tests, which could include general screening, tuning forks, and audiometers. A general screening test involves you covering one ear as you are exposed to sounds at different volumes. A tuning fork test uses metal instruments that make sounds at different frequencies to test your hearing and can even help your doctor evaluate what kind of damage has occurred in your ear. Audiometer tests are performed by audiologists. You wear headphones and different sounds occur one at a time in each ear. All of these tests require your participation, as you are often responsible for saying when you hear sounds or for repeating what you hear. Another doctor you may be referred to is an otolaryngologist, who is an ear, nose, and throat expert.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.