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  Your physician may perform an ear exam during your regular physical. He or she can examine your ear for any abnormalities in the ear canal or ear drum, including excessive wax build-up. Hearing tests are performed to detect hearing loss. The hearing test measures your response to a series of sounds and tones. Hearing tests involve a series of exams, including many tests that require responses and some that measure the internal response of your inner ear to certain stimulations. Hearing exams can be conducted as part of a regular physical or to determine the cause of specific ear-related symptoms. As you get older, your provider might recommend more hearing tests if you are at risk for hearing loss.