DEAR DOCTOR K: My hearing is going. Before I get a hearing aid, I'm told I need a hearing test. How will the test help?
DEAR READER: The hearing test (formally called an "audiological evaluation") identifies how bad your hearing loss is in each ear. It also determines where the problem is worst. Is it with high-pitched sounds? Is it in distinguishing a particular sound -- like someone speaking to you -- in a noisy place? This is what the audiologist (a health professional specializing in hearing testing and hearing aids) needs to know in order to tell if you could benefit from a hearing aid and, if so, which style and type would help the most.