Hearing tests are used to assess your ability to hear different sounds and to determine if there are any problems.

Why are hearing tests needed?

Hearing tests are carried out for two main reasons:

  • as a routine part of a babys or young childs developmental checks
  • to check the hearing of someone who is experiencing hearing problems or has Hearing impairment

It's important hearing tests are carried out so the right support and treatment can be provided.

Hearing tests are carried out at regular intervals during childhood, starting with the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) within a few weeks of birth.

Your child's hearing may also be checked during a general health review when they are a few years old and before they start school for the first time.

If you're worried about any hearing problems, you can ask your GP for a hearing test.

This is known as conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by problems such as:

  • a blockage in your ear canal, such as a build-up of earwax
  • a blockage in the middle ear for example, glue ear
  • an infection of your outer ear ( otitis externa ) or middle ear ( otitis media )
  • a hole or tear in the eardrum ( perforated eardrum )
  • otosclerosis , which isan abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear
  • disruption of your hearing bones caused by injury or disease

Conductive hearing loss caused by these problems is often temporary and reversible.

Sensori-neural hearing loss

If sounds reach the inner ear but are still not heard, the fault lies in the inner ear or (rarely) in the hearing nerve. This is called sensori-neural hearing loss.

Sensori-neural hearing loss may occur for a number of reasons, most commonly as a result of age-related change. This sort of hearing loss is nearly always permanent.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Jun 2016