What to Expect at the Audiologist
Have you been struggling with hearing loss and you’ve finally scheduled an appointment with an audiologist in your area? You might be wondering what will happen during this appointment, whether any of the tests will hurt or what your treatment options are. The good news is your visit with the audiologist will be completely pain-free, and they’ll walk you through all steps of their hearing tests and treatment options – so there’s nothing to worry about!
Gathering medical information
During your first visit with an audiologist, you’ll provide a detailed medical history, from things like medications you take regularly to any trauma you’ve experienced that could be impacting your hearing. Additionally, your audiologist will gather some information about your lifestyle and hobbies, to better understand your exposure to loud noises – if any.
Examining the outer ears
You may wonder and have wondered for a while, what are they really looking for when they look down into your ears?
When your audiologist looks at your ears they are looking at the general health of your ears. Is there any trauma to the outer ear? Does it look infected? How is the form of the outer ear? Basically, they are looking to see if there’s anything abnormal, which may indicate a hearing loss.
Using the otoscope
Next, your doctor or hearing health professional will look into your ear using an otoscope. The otoscope magnifies and gives light to properly see the ear canal and eardrum. They will move the otoscope around in the canal to be sure to get a good view of the all of the sides of the canal as well as the eardrum.
Just as with the outer ear examination they are looking at the general health and care of the canal and eardrum. Is there any trauma in the canal or eardrum? Does the canal or behind the eardrum look infected? Is there a build- up of dirt, debris or wax? Is the build-up impacting the whole canal or partially part of the canal? Is the eardrum perforated?
The hearing test
Once your audiologist has examined your ear, they will conduct a variety of hearing tests to determine the state of your hearing health. There are a number of different tests available to help the audiologist diagnose your hearing loss, they will talk more with you in-depth about the ones they will use to evaluate your hearing health. All of these tests are non-invasive and pain-free, and require no preparation ahead of time.
Results of the hearing test
Once your audiologist has performed their battery of tests, your results will be plotted on a chart called an audiogram. This will allow the audiologist to provide a better picture of what your hearing health looks like and will show any volumes or pitches you’re struggling to hear. The audiologist will use this to help diagnose your hearing loss and recommend treatment options.
Treating hearing loss
The most common form of treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These highly advanced devices are programmed based on the results of your hearing test to assist the hearing ability you have left and help your ears navigate the barrage of sounds around you. There are a number of hearing aids available on the market and your audiologist will help you decide which device best meets your lifestyle, aesthetic and hearing loss needs.
While it can be overwhelming to visit an audiologist for the first time, rest assured there is nothing to worry about. Your audiologist will take care of your hearing health in order to help you better your overall wellbeing!