Do you have trouble hearing? If so, you might want to schedule an audiology appointment. This article will tell you what to expect during your visit and hopefully answer any questions that come up.
Review of Your Medical History
The audiologist will review your medical history and ask about any symptoms you might be experiencing. They may also have a word list or sentence for you to read aloud so that they can determine if there are any difficulties with speech comprehension.
The audiologist will also ask about ear or hearing injuries you may have had in the past, any medications that might be affecting your hearing, and if you’ve ever gotten exposed to loud noises.
Questions About Your Hearing
The audiologist will have a list of questions about hearing evaluations in place for you to answer. They might have an essential word list for you to read aloud so that you can provide feedback on how well it was understood.
If possible, the audiologist may also want to test your speech recognition by having you chat with them about any of the following topics: your job, what you like to do outside of work, recent news events, or anything else that might be interesting.
Test for Hearing Loss
The audiologist will then conduct a test to determine whether there are any issues with your hearing. For example, they may use an air conduction testing device (better if they’re not fit or if they don’t work well in your ear).
They may also use an acoustic reflex hammer (a particular type of device fitted against the head to stimulate specific nerves and muscles for testing purposes) or other tests.
Types of Tests
The audiologist may use a variety of tests to determine whether there are any hearing issues. For example, they might conduct an air conduction test, which uses the natural ability to hear sounds in both ears at once through sound waves set off by words or tones.
In addition, one can use an acoustic reflex hammer for testing nerve and muscle responses related to what you’re hearing. Audiometry testing is another standardized test. This measures the threshold at which you can hear a tone or word and might be used to measure how loud something needs to be before it becomes painful.
If there are any difficulties with your hearing that need treatment, the audiologist may recommend an otolaryngology referral for ear tubes or surgery.
It’s important to remember that just because your hearing is normal, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any changes in the future. It might also not matter if something sounds “normal” or if everything seems fine- some people may have difficulty understanding speech even with a healthy level of function and clarity in their hearing.
Discussing the Findings
The audiologist will discuss the results with you and answer any questions that come up. They’ll also recommend a follow-up visit if any difficulties need to be addressed or monitor your hearing over time.
Follow Up Activities
The audiologist will give you a list of follow-up activities at home and recommend that you come back for another appointment in six months.
Examples of Follow Up Activities
- Increasing the volume of your television or other sounds that you frequently hear
- Turning up household appliances such as vacuums, stoves, and dishwashers
- Making sure it is safe to listen to music at a louder level than average (some people need to do this for hearing aids to work well)
Who needs a Hearing Test and Why?
A hearing test will be recommended for adults over 50 and younger adults with a family history of age-related hearing loss or other significant risk factors.
What Should You Bring to the Appointment?
- A list of all medications that you are taking.
- An up-to-date list of any ear or hearing injuries, including how often they happened and when the last injury was
- Recent records from your doctor for conditions like diabetes or hypertension (these could be related to changes in your hearing)
How to Prepare for the Appointment
You will need to prepare for the appointment by ensuring that you are on a good sleep schedule, have eaten within four hours of your scheduled test time, and refrain from smoking before or during the appointment.
What Questions Should You Ask the Audiologist?
- What are your qualifications to conduct this test?
- How much does it cost for a hearing exam, including if there is any sort of financial assistance available?
- Does your insurance company cover the costs associated with getting tested or fitted for hearing aids (if you are interested in this)?
- What is your waitlist for hearing aids? (If applicable)
What to Expect During the Appointment
During a hearing exam, an audiologist will test different aspects of your hearing with tests like those mentioned above and ask you how well you can hear at various frequencies, both in quiet environments and noisy ones.
They’ll also take measurements from external parts of the ear to see how well your hearing compares with other people in the same range of age and gender.
What Happens Next?
After a test gets completed, you’ll receive an exam report that usually includes measurements like air conduction (the sound’s loudness), bone conduction (how vibrations get transferred through bones), and word recognition.
If you have a hearing loss that the audiologists deem significant, they may recommend getting a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
How Can You Help Yourself?
If you’re not sure whether your hearing is adequately functioning as it should be, talk to an audiologist about scheduling an appointment for testing. You might also want to bring a list of questions for your appointment.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Hearing Aids?
The benefits of using a hearing aid include an improved ability to hear in noisy environments, enjoying conversations more, and understanding better what people say on the phone. They may also help with memory issues that can be caused by hearing loss.
What Are the Disadvantages of Wearing Hearing Aids?
The downside to using a hearing aid is that it can be expensive, and they’re not guaranteed to solve all of your problems. If you think there’s something wrong with the way you hear, talk about it with an audiologist so that they can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.
Hearing evaluations are recommended for adults over 50 and younger adults who have a family history of age-related hearing loss or other significant risk factors. This blog post covers what to expect during your appointment, hope you find it helpful.