Lisa Mulligan, MD, discusses hearing loss which can often be a result of pain and drainage. Hearing issues may also be a symptom of long standing health problems and can affect daily function, speech development and school performance in children. Diagnosis begins by identifying whether the ear is inflamed or infected, but often patients require a more in depth evaluation through a hearing test. Hearing tests allow providers to go beyond their examination abilities and identify if there are issues beyond the ear drum. Additional hearing loss can be a result of the aging process, noise exposure or other outstanding health issues.