What to Expect from Your Audiologist
Hearing loss can develop at any age and comes in several degrees (mild to profound). Unsurprisingly, it creates hurdles for you to lead a normal life. If you’re suffering from hearing loss you should consider scheduling an appointment with an audiologist. Not only will they improve your hearing health, they will help eradicate the barriers faced in communication.
Audiologists are hearing care professionals responsible for testing, diagnosing and treating hearing loss. They offer a variety of services, but here are some of the basic ones you can expect to receive from your audiologist.
When you first visit an audiologist, they will want to gather as much information about your medical history, lifestyle and medications. This is important because there are a number of causes of hearing loss, like aging, noise exposure and ototoxic medications. Your audiologist will want to know if your work environment exposes you to loud noises or if someone in your family has suffered from hearing loss. Your audiologist will use all this information, in addition to the results from your hearing tests, to put together a complete picture of your hearing health.
2. Hearing tests and diagnosis
Hearing tests are conducted to determine if the hearing loss is bilateral or present in one ear only. It also checks for the type of hearing loss and the degree of hearing loss (mild to profound). There are different hearing tests to determine these things, but may include:
- Physical ear examination: the audiologist checks for any visible defect in the ear such as earwax buildup, damage to the middle ear or a perforated eardrum
- Tuning fork test: During this test, a tuning fork is placed at different places of the head to examine any hearing issues
- Pure-tone test: To determine if the hearing loss is bilateral, a machine plays sound at different frequencies and the patient has to detect these sounds
- Bone conduction test: This test is used to determine if any area of the ear is damaged
Once these tests are completed, the results will be plotted on a chart, also called an audiogram. Your audiologist will use these results, in addition to the information you initially provided, to determine if a hearing loss is present and what treatment will work best for you.
3. Hearing loss treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, chances are your audiologist will recommend hearing aids as treatment. Hearing aids are incredibly versatile tools to help you interact and communicate better day-to-day. Your audiologist will work with you to select the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs. Additionally, your audiologist will ensure a proper fit through a hearing aid fitting and follow-up visit, while also showing you how to properly use and maintain your device.
Schedule an appointment today
Your audiologist will be your partner when it comes to hearing health. They will work with you for many years to come to make sure you’re getting the most out of your devices. Call an audiologist in your area and schedule an appointment today.