What to Expect When You Visit an Audiologist
For those who have never visited an audiologist before, attending your first ever hearing test appointment can be a little daunting. To ease your concerns and ensure you know exactly what to expect when you visit the Affordable Audiology below, we’ve detailed exactly what will happen during your appointment, as well as a few tips on how you can best prepare.
Your audiologist will ask about your medical history
Any medical professional you are visiting for the first time will ask questions about your medical history and an audiologist is no different. You will be asked if you have any existing health conditions and also what medication – both prescribed and over-the-counter – you may be taking. You may find it helpful to write down a list of medication before your appointment, so you can be sure that you can provide accurate information when asked.
Your audiologist will examine your ears
Before administering the hearing test, your audiologist will examine your ears and, particularly, your ear canals. This examination is performed to establish an accurate baseline regarding your ear health and can also be used to identify any signs of infection or earwax build up. For most people, this examination is brief and it is comfortable and pain-free, so try not to worry.
You will be asked about your hearing loss
Most people visit an audiologist due to existing concerns regarding their hearing, so your audiologist will seek to understand the issues you have experienced. It may help to prepare a written account of these issues before your appointment, especially if you are nervous, as this can help ensure you are able to recount all the details in full.
It’s worth noting that your audiologist will still ask you about your existing hearing levels even if you have not noted any problems in this area and are primarily attending for screening purposes.
Your audiologist will talk you through the hearing test you will undergo
There are a number of different hearing tests that your audiologist can use in order to diagnose – or rule out – hearing loss. Your audiologist will explain the process of the test to you, ensuring you know exactly what to expect throughout the experience. If you have any questions about what is required of you during the test, this is the perfect time to ask.
Your hearing will be tested
As mentioned above, there are many different ways that hearing can be tested. While your audiologist will explain each of these to you in detail, if applicable, here’s a quick overview of what each test involves:
- Pure-tone test. The most common type of hearing test, the pure-tone test is used to ascertain the range of pitches you can hear. For this test, you will wear headphones; when you hear a sound through the headphones, you will press a button, say “yes” or otherwise signal to the audiologist that you can hear this – your audiologist will inform you of exactly what you need to do.
- Speech test. This test won’t feel like a test as such; it’s more of a conversation, during which your audiologist will record your ability to repeat words back to them and recognize words.
- Auditory brainstem response. For this test, electrodes will be placed on your head in order to record brain waves that are related to hearing and particularly the functions of the inner ear.
- Middle ear test. The middle ear test involves passing pressurized air into the ear canal in order to cause the eardrum to vibrate painlessly. The test is used to check for any signs of a perforated eardrum as well as the health of the ear ventilation tubes.
- Otoacoustic emissions. This test is used to measure types of hearing loss rather than levels of hearing loss and involves a small probe being inserted into the ear canal to measure the sounds produced by the outer ear cells of your ear.
It is important to note that you will not necessarily receive all of these tests; your audiologist will provide further guidance as deemed suitable for your specific circumstances.
You will receive comprehensive advice on what happens next
When the tests are complete, your audiologist will show you the results and explain what they mean.
If hearing loss has not been identified, your audiologist will likely advise you on the best date for your next check-up and provide general tips on maintaining your hearing in the future.
If hearing loss is identified, your audiologist will talk through the diagnosis with you and advise you on the next steps – which, for most people, involves exploring their options for hearing aids.
To book an appointment with an expert audiologist at the Affordable Audiology.