What to Expect at Your Audiologist Appointment
When you’ve lived for a long time with hearing loss, you’re likely used to feeling frustrated by your inability to understand and communicate with those closest to you on a daily basis. Indeed, by the time you’re ready to make that first appointment with an audiologist, it’s likely that you’ve already lived with hearing loss for quite some time. Why? Because hearing loss rarely manifests itself over a short period of time. In most cases, it creeps up on us over a period of years, incrementally, so that we rarely notice it until we’ve seen the signs occur with greater frequency. Missing packages because you didn’t hear the doorbell sound or struggling to follow the conversation in a busy restaurant.
When you experience hearing issues, the best professional to see is an audiologist. They can evaluate your hearing and recommend the best treatment for your specific needs.
Gather your medical history
The best way to prepare for your audiology appointment is by obtaining your medical records and noting any kind of trauma or family history that could tie-in to your hearing loss. The audiologist will also want to know any kind of medication you’ve been on – short and long-term – so bring a list of these drugs. Additionally, you’ll want to jot down the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, whether it’s trouble hearing in a group setting or hearing mumbling instead of conversation. You can also take this time to write down any questions you may have regarding your hearing loss, the hearing testing process and hearing aids.
Examination and hearing test
After you’ve gone over your medical history, your audiologist will want to perform a series of hearing tests. This will typically involve a physical examination of the year to look for issues like impacted wax or a ruptured eardrum. Once this is complete, the hearing tests will begin and usually entail listening for tones and signaling which ones you hear, in addition to tests that evaluate the function of your middle ear or your ability to pick up speech sounds.
After these tests, your audiologist will provide the results of your hearing test on an audiogram. This charts the exact pitches and frequencies you are struggling with and what your best treatment options are. Hearing aids are the most common recommendation for treating hearing loss and come in a variety of styles and types. Your audiologist will work with you to find the best device to suit your lifestyle, hearing loss and budgetary needs.