ENT Exam - What to Expect?

The audi at Costco recommended that I see an ENT before he would test or fit me for my first every HA’s. My left ear is worse that my right and I have had a couple past issues with wax builld-up and a bit of discomfort from time to time. I have some sinus issues, so this may be related.

Also, lost a lot of the hearing in that ear after an episode at an indoor shooting range in August. The ear hasn’t been right since.

I’ve never been to an ENT, just wondering what to expect as I’m not much for surprises when it comes to doctors. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately I have been to ENT’s a lot over the last 2 years. Even had ear surgery to see if it would correct my problems. Which it did not.

Anyway, that is water under the bridge. My experience with an ENT is that they will want you to have a set of hearing tests from their in house Audiologists. This test should be conducted in a sound proof room and will be comprised of several tests. The Audiologist on here can better tell you about that than I can.

After the hearing test you should get to see the ENT Doc. The doc will usually discuss with you the problems you are having. Ask what external factors have happened recently, such as the incident you mention at the firing range. And other Q&A type of conversation. Make sure you give the doctor as many details as you can as the more info they have the better diagnosis they can make.

After the Q&A they should give you a visual examination. I have been to several different ENT’s and the examination has been different. Most commonly they look in your ear with a light and scope. May use some tuning forks to do on the spot testing.

I have also had a Ear Specialist use a microscope to examine my ears. Had me lay down on a chair that tilted. Kind of like a dentist chair. Then they stuck a machine in my ear. The machine was huge!! Doc kept tugging on my ear lobes and pulling this way and that way to get the machine down farther into my ear. He joked and said he was trying to see the backside of the other ear!!! After he got it in he took pictures of the ear.

That visit was back in the early 90’s when I was just starting to have hearing problems. So hopefully the machines have shrunk since then!

I have also had a CT Scan of my ears. But that was after my surgery and they were trying to diagnose why it had failed. So I get the feeling that it is not part of the standard battery of testing an ENT does.

After all testing is done the doc should give you the diagnosis and discuss treatment options with you. Make sure to get copies of your test results. Especially hearing tests. That way you can keep a history of your hearing to see if it is getting worse. I have my hearing tests going back to the early 90’s and can see the slope getting worse over time.

Hope that helps.

I would imagine that the professional at Costco is being careful as you have described that your ears have an asymmetrical hearing loss. The ENT visit is to conclude there are no ‘abnormal’ reasons for the asymmetry.

Go see the ENT and get a full check up.

Thanks for the input!

We need to make sure that there is no medical cause for your asymmetric hearing loss that may be treatable, such as an infection, fluid, bone problem, or benign tumor.

Dr C

Dr C,

Thank you. I understand that it’s all for my best. I’m waiting for my GP to recommend an ENT. Hoping I can get in quick and get it done. I’m anxious to be able to hear better.

In a lot of states an audiologist is required by law to tell a new patient that he should first see an ENT, either that or the audiologist must require that the patient sign a waiver saying he has been informed by the audiologist that he should first see an ENT and the patient has decided to waive that. This is to protect the patient from, one, buying something he doesn’t need, two, there’s not a medical problem causing your hearing loss. Expect a hearing test, medical history questions, etc. no big deal.

I have an appt. with an ENT on Feb. 23. Would be great if they found something that they can correct, but I believe they won’t. Will be good to get checked and then move on.

Went to see the ENT today. He suggested I get an MRI because of the asymetrical hearing loss in the left ear even though there is less than a 1% chance of a tumor and, he really believes the loss was caused by a shooting range incident in August. I’m not sure if I’ll go for an MRI or not. Seems kind of pointless and more CYA for the Dr.

The hearing test the ENT did showed more hearing loss in the left ear than the test that the audiologist did. My ear drums are both fine. My ability to understand words in the left ear was only 44% at 45dbs. It was 88% in the right ear. He didn’t think a hearing air would improve word comprehension in the left ear.

Any thoughts?


I’m a newbie. I have a 5 yr old that just got her first set of HA’s. She had a bunch of tests done: bloodwork, urinalysis, CT scan and EKG to rule out any hidden medical condition that may have caused her hearing loss and/or make her hearing worse. Everything came back normal.

We speculate that it was either a severe illness and/or antibiotics that caused her loss as her speech was developing normally until age 4. We used to have to tiptoe around the house when she was napping, so I know she was able to hear prior to that illness.

I just want to say it wouldn’t hurt to get the MRI just to be on the safe side :wink:


Thanks, Bee. So sorry to hear about your little girl’s loss of hearing. I think I’ll go ahead and get it done. Like you say, to be on the safe side. Besides, my wife has always told me that I needed to get my head checked.