It’s common for people to avoid addressing their hearing loss – sometimes it’s a matter of finances, while for other individuals it signifies that they are getting older. Yet many avoid seeing a hearing healthcare professional simply because they don’t know what to expect, and it can be intimidating to schedule a hearing evaluation without knowing what’s going to happen.
However, these evaluations are incredibly important and are quick and easy to participate in! The team at Preferred Audiology Care will walk you through each step of your appointment so that you feel relaxed and right at home. Combining the latest industry equipment with our years of experience, we work with you to diagnose hearing loss and create solutions that meet your specific needs.
Before Your First Appointment
Your first appointment with us is an important opportunity for us to get to know your needs, concerns, and hopes. Prior to seeing one of our specialists, you’ll be asked to complete a new patient intake form. On it, we’ll ask you to recall any injuries, trauma, or exposure to loud noises in your history. We’ll also ask for an overview of your medical history, including any medications you may be currently taking.
You’re more than welcome to bring in a loved one to your hearing evaluation with you. Hearing loss affects more than just the patient, and we’re happy to answer any questions that you or your family may have. Having support from a friend, partner, or family member can also be helpful as you choose the best treatment option for your needs.
A speech in noise test can tell us how well you can communicate in noisy situations.
Hearing Consultation: Reviewing Your Needs
We begin your hearing evaluation by getting to know you and your concerns. Together, we’ll review your information and discuss the challenges you’re experiencing. Understanding your history, current symptoms, and unique hearing needs for your lifestyle helps us determine the cause of, and solution for, any hearing issues we may uncover.
During the Hearing Evaluation
In most cases, it takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Using a specialized tool called an otoscope, our professionals will physically examine the inside of your ears to ensure they are clear and healthy. If there is any type of blockage or abnormality, it can inform how we proceed with the rest of the visit. Something as minor as earwax build-up could be the cause of your hearing loss, so our team likes to carefully examine your ears before we begin testing your hearing.
Next comes a complete hearing test—designed to evaluate the thresholds (the volume and frequency limits) of sound that you’re able to hear. You’ll be asked to wear a pair of specialized headphones and indicate when you can clearly hear the various sounds emitted. These tests reveal the extent, type, and details of your unique hearing loss, if any is present at all. Since there are different types and degrees of hearing loss, each needs to be treated in a specific way.
The hearing evaluation may include any of the following tests:
- Air conduction testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing
- Speech in noise testing
Specialized audiological testing may also include:
- Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
- Cochlear implant evaluations
- Bone anchored hearing aid evaluations
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) evaluations
Reviewing Your Results
Once we’ve completed your hearing test, we’ll review our findings together. Your hearing test results come in the form of an audiogram, which is a chart that converts your hearing loss into measurable frequencies and volumes (called decibels). Audiograms enable us to see the type, pattern, and degree of your hearing loss. In addition, you will also see a percentage of how much normal conversational speech you can currently hear.
If our hearing evaluation detects a hearing loss, rest assured that there are many treatment options available these days. And none of them are clunky or outdated. We have a full line of state-of-the art hearing aid models available for every situation and every budget. We’ll walk you through all of them and answer any questions you have. Our goal is to give you information about all of your options, and we respect your priorities when it comes to which hearing aid might meet your needs best.
After Your Visit
Once you have made your hearing aid purchase, we will review how to use them during a fitting appointment. This visit allows us to program your devices in a way that works best for you, but remember, it may take some time before you fully adjust to the plethora of sounds around you. We recommend taking a gradual approach while acclimating to your hearing aids, as this often produces the best results.
The team at Preferred Audiology Care is always just a phone call away and we encourage patients to contact us with questions. Along with follow-up visits and regular hearing evaluations, your visit with us is the first step toward a lifetime of healthy hearing!