Websites such as the Better Hearing Institute have online tests for hearing. At the Better Hearing Institute website, the test is confidential and includes questions about general health and sound prompts. Use the online test to determine whether to make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a comprehensive test.
Answer the questions provided on the online test, explains the Better Hearing Institute. If the result indicates hearing loss, schedule an appointment with a health care provider who specializes in this condition. Online tests do not diagnose the cause of hearing loss. Hearing loss experts test hearing using specialized instruments in addition to asking general questions about a patient's hearing. Some hearing care professionals look at the ear canal and eardrum using an otoscope. Professionals also play a series of sounds on specialized headphones.
A physical exam with a health care professional looks for hearing loss causes such as earwax, inflammation and structural abnormalities, notes Mayo Clinic. Doctors sometimes ask patients to cover one ear to determine if one or both ears are affected by hearing loss. Tuning fork tests indicate whether hearing loss is caused by damage to the vibrating sections of the middle ear or to the sensors and nerves in the inner ear. Audiologists perform audiometer tests through headphones using a range of tones. The professional repeats the tones using fainter sounds until the patient says he no longer hears the tone.