What to Expect When You Visit an Audiologist
Your first appointment with the audiologist is always the scariest, especially if you believe that your hearing is damaged. In truth, though, there’s very little to fear. After all, the audiologist is there to provide support and hopefully restore a sense of normality.
Nonetheless, removing the sense of unknowingness can only have a positive impact ahead of your visit. Here’s what to expect from your visit.
Background history checks
Before inspecting your ears and testing your hearing, the audiologist will want to learn a little about your background as this can aid them during the diagnosis. In addition to discussing any hearing problems in the family, the audiologist may want to discuss your work and life situations. This is because some environments naturally bring more danger than others.
On a separate note, your audiologist may ask about any medication you’re on, as this can sometimes become the source of ear-related problems.
The ear and hearing exams
A thorough hearing test and ear inspection include several stages. By completing all of them, the audiologist gains the very best insight and can provide a far more accurate diagnosis.
Generally speaking, the hearing test begins with a physical inspection of the canal and inner ear. The audiologist does this by using a tool known as the otoscope, and a light. This process is used to check for abnormalities with the ear as well as signs of infection, wax or blockages.
Following the inspection, you’ll undergo a few tests. Tympanometry tests the middle ear and checks to see how the eardrum responds to light pressure. This can test how the eardrum would act to infection and fluid.
The audiometry part of the hearing test is the one that most people are familiar with. This is where you sit in a booth and will be asked to press a button when you hear a sound. This test is broken into two sections. Air conduction tests for the softest sound you can hear through headphones while bone conduction determines the softest sound heard through stimulating the inner ear.
In addition to those tests using specialized machinery, the audiologist will want to have a talk with you. This communication lets them focus on how your ears distinguish dialogue under normal circumstances.
Treatment plan proposal
If your hearing is perfectly normal, it’s likely that you’ll simply be advised to book your next appointment for a year’s time. If there is an issue, however, the next steps will be crucial.
The audiologist will tell you whether your problems are best solved by hearing aids, medicines, or alternative treatment options. Depending on the style of hearing aids, you may need to have impressions taken so that they can get the mold right for your ear canal. Once manufactured, you’ll need another appointment to go through the fitting and general care of the device. On a similar note, additional appointments will be required for most other treatment types.
So, now that you know what to expect, there’s no reason to delay booking your appointment. Your future hearing depends on it.