Resources for Patients

Testing and Evaluation

Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation
An evaluation with an audiologist will most likely begin with a case history which will involve a series of medical questions pertaining to your ears and related medical conditions. After questions are complete, a visual inspection of the ear’s canals called otoscopy will be done.

The following tests will then be performed based on individual need. All tests assist the audiologist in determining if there is hearing loss present, the type of the hearing loss, the severity of the loss, possible causes, and the best treatments or management possibilities:

About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a decrease in hearing sensitivity. It may result from trauma, injury, exposure to high levels of noise, ear infections or as part of the aging process. Affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, it is an associated condition for many disorders, disabilities, or illnesses. Hearing loss can be described by the type of hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss, and the configuration of the hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Loss

Despite a variety of causes, hearing loss generally falls into one of three categories, depending on which section of the ear is affected.

Hearing loss in Adults

Hearing loss is often viewed as a problem only for the elderly. While it is a common symptom of aging, hearing loss can have an effect on anyone at any age.  According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing impairment is present in 18% of American adults ages 45 – 64, 30% of adults ages 65 – 74, and 47% of adults 75 years old and older. Any amount of hearing loss can have a severe impact on one’s ability to understand and any degradation to communication can greatly impact quality of life.

Despite the impact on life, only 1 in 5 people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wears one.  If other impairing or disabling conditions are present, careful monitoring of hearing becomes even more important to maintain the ability to communicate for the health and well-being of the whole person. 

Hearing loss in Children

Hearing loss can also impact the lives of children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 in 1000 babies are born with hearing loss each year. Children are also susceptible to temporary hearing loss due to fluid in the middle ear. Any child with hearing loss has the possibility to develop speech delays whether the hearing loss is temporary, present at birth, or developed later. Hearing loss in children may not be obvious based on behavioral responses. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association outlines some age-related milestones for hearing and language development. If your child is not meeting milestones, discuss them with your child’s pediatrician and consider a referral for an audiological evaluation. If hearing loss is present, there are many early hearing detection and intervention programs like the Sound Beginnings program in Kansas. An audiologist can help direct you towards the appropriate program.


More than three million American children have a hearing loss. An estimated 1.3 million of these children are under the three years of age. Parents and grandparents are usually the first to discover hearing loss because they spend the most time with the child. Hearing loss may be temporary, caused by ear wax or middle ear infection, or may be permanent. Temporary losses may be corrected by medication or minor surgery. Those with permanent hearing loss may be fit with hearing aids at three months of age or earlier.

If you are worried about your child's hearing, please contact an audiologist to schedule a complete hearing evaluation as soon as possible.

External Resource Links

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Better Hearing Institute

Home Request Appointment For Patients About the Clinic

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KU HealthPartners, Inc.
Mail Stop 1068
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160

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Audiology Clinics
Mail Stop 3039
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160