What to Expect at the Audiologist
Are you concerned about your hearing? Maybe you've been turning the TV volume up louder than usual, or all your conversations are filled with you asking people to repeat themselves. If that's the case, then you should book an appointment with an audiologist.
Perhaps you've already done this, and you're wondering what is ahead and if there's anything you can do to prepare. An audiologist can help with various hearing problems, and here's what to expect from your appointment:
Some initial formalities
First off, your audiologist will have to go ahead with some initial formalities. As this is probably your first appointment, they need to get some extra information about you. They'll likely ask a series of questions - or get you to fill in a form. The questions will revolve around your general health & wellbeing, your lifestyle habits, and more information on your particular issue.
From this information alone, an audiologist can already begin to theorize what might be wrong with you and what's causing any hearing problems.
The main reason to see an audiologist is to get a hearing test. Even if you don't have any hearing concerns, it's recommended you have a hearing test once per year to check that everything is working properly. Sometimes, hearing loss can manifest without you realizing it. The earlier this is picked up, the easier it is to treat and (potentially) slow down.
A hearing test is actually made up of various hearing tests. Your audiologist will likely conduct the following:
- Otoscopy: this test involves examining your ear canal with an otoscope - which is effectively a mini camera. Here, your audiologist can check for things like a build-up of earwax, or any other obstructions.
- Tympanometry: the next test is all about measuring the mobility of your eardrum, and the condition of your middle ear. Light pressure is applied to your eardrum, and the audiologist notes how it responds to this.
- Audiometry: lastly, we have what most people consider to be the main part of a hearing test. Here, your audiologist will ask you to wear headphones as they play through sounds of different tones and pitches. You're asked to indicate when you hear the sounds, and this basically tells them the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. This is sometimes called a pure-tone test, and there's also a speech part as well. With speech audiometry tests, the same set-up is provided, but speech is played through the headphones at different volumes. This time, you're asked to repeat what you heard, showing how well you can hear regular conversations.
Hearing test results
The great thing about hearing tests is that the results are available instantly. So, after all the tests are carried out, your audiologist will go over their findings. They can explain the state of your hearing and any issues that you might have.
If it transpires that you suffer from hearing loss, they can tell you the exact type and what might have caused it. Sometimes, hearing loss is caused by something simple and reversible, like an obstruction in the ear. Other times, it can be caused by damage to the sensory cells deep inside your ear, meaning the only course of action is hearing aids.
Your audiologist will explain all the varying treatment options available as they present your results. More often than not, they recommend hearing aids for permanent hearing loss.
Hearing aid assistance
In the same appointment, your audiologist can go over the different hearing aid options available to you. They'll explain the types, along with suggesting any features that you might find useful. You can then be booked in for an additional appointment where they talk about this in more detail and set up a hearing aid fitting for you. If you want to go ahead with a fitting, then they will take impressions of your ears to ensure that the device is made to fit them.
From here, you will attend the hearing aid fitting when your hearing aids are ready for you. Now, you'll have another hearing test to check your hearing loss – and to help program the device to work for you. Your hearing aids will be fitted, and your audiologist runs through general maintenance tips and teaches you how to use the device.
If you need further hearing aid help later in life, then an audiologist may also be able to offer hearing aid cleaning and repair services.
Contact House of Hearing Today
Regardless of whether you're experiencing hearing concerns or just want a regular checkup, you must see a qualified and experienced audiologist. At the House of Hearing, we offer a range of services that are suitable for your needs. Call us at 801-221-1220 to schedule an appointment or learn more how we can help you.