A hearing test is part of a routine physical and/or ear examination where a patient's ability to detect different levels of sound is evaluated, along with how this information is transferred to the brain. Hearing is made possible when sound waves travel through the ear and convert into nerve impulses. These impulses are then sent to the brain. If necessary, your doctor can determine what form of hearing loss you have by measuring your ability to hear sounds that travel through the ear canal and skull. He or she may accomplish this via a whisper speech test, pure tone test, tuning fork test, speech and word reception test, Otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE), or auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing. Hearing tests can be performed by a hearing specialist, primary care doctor, school nurse, psychologist or speech therapist.