The first step towards transforming your hearing health and wellness is having your hearing tested. Hearing tests are conducted by hearing healthcare specialists who are trained to evaluate hearing capacities in both ears. Knowing what to expect from this process can help alleviate any anxiety about addressing the changes you are experiencing with your hearing health.
- Intake Process. The first part of your hearing consultation appointment will look like most health related appointments with an intake process. This includes completing any necessary paperwork as well as discussing your health background as well as current experience of symptoms. You will likely be asked about any family history of hearing loss, the symptoms you are experiencing, and lifestyle factors that can impact hearing health. This includes learning about your work life, daily activities or hobbies you engage in, and behaviors like smoking or listening to music using earbuds etc. These factors can illuminate possible causes of your symptoms. You also expect to talk about the hearing test process and what you can expect as well as treatment options.
- Ear Inspection. Before the hearing test, your hearing healthcare provider will physically examine your ears. This involves using an otoscope which is an instrument with a light that is designed to enter and inspect the ear. Inspecting the ear allows us to check for potential factors that can contribute to hearing challenges and hearing loss. This includes ear wax accumulation, dirt, bone growths, an ear infection, a perforated eardrum etc. These factors or ear obstructions can prevent soundwaves from being fully absorbed and processed, causing what is known as conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is typically treatable with either medications or minor interventions like removing any earwax that has built up.
- Hearing Test. There are a few different types of hearing tests, all which are painless and noninvasive. Two most common tests are pure tone and speech audiometry. Pure tone audiometry testing involves wearing headphones in a soundproof space (room or booth) that are connected to an audiometer – a machine that will play sounds at different volumes and frequencies. Guided by one of our specialists, you will be asked to indicate what you are able to hear by either raising your hand or pressing a button. This identifies the softest sounds you are able to hear and the types of sounds that may be more challenging. Speech audiometry testing works in a very similar way but rather than tones or sounds being played, you will hear speech at different volumes. This is especially useful because it identifies the types of speech you may struggle hearing which will help us understand the hearing challenges you may experience specifically during conversations. Your results will be captured in real time and shared with you after the tests are completed.
- Results. Your results will be captured in real time and presented to you after the test(s) is completed. Yoru hearing healthcare specialist will show you your results on an audiogram which is a visual chart that visually represents your hearing capacities in each ear. This includes the softest sounds you are able to hear and the types of sounds that are more challenging for you to hear. You will learn the specific type and degree of hearing impairment you are experiencing (which can differ from one ear to the other). There will also be a thorough discussion of the best treatment options that can best meet your hearing needs. Hearing aids are the most common treatment so your hearing healthcare provider will likely share types of devices that would be optimal for you.
- Next Steps. After your hearing test, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled. During your follow-up you will receive your hearing aids which will be programmed with specific settings to meet your hearing needs. You will also learn everything about how to maximize your hearing aids and best maintain them.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to supporting you and prioritizing your hearing, health and wellness.