Get ready for your first visit with these helpful tips.
If you’re concerned about hearing loss or are experiencing some level of hearing loss already, your primary physician may refer you to see an audiologist for further testing and evaluation. As with any new medical visit, it’s helpful to know what to expect going in. Here are a few of the things you can anticipate during your visit!
Reviewing your medical history & lifestyle
The audiologist will likely review your medical history before getting into anything else. In some cases, they may have the information sent over by your primary physician, but it will be helpful for you to provide additional details and context for the hearing issues you’re experiencing. It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions prepared beforehand to ask during your appointment.
You’ll also want to inform the audiologist of any circumstances in your daily life that could be affecting your hearing – such as working in or living near a loud environment like a construction site or frequently attending loud concerts or sporting events. It’s important that they have a full and complete picture of your lifestyle so they can adequately assess and help diagnose your hearing loss.
The audiologist will likely begin with a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum using an otoscope, then move on to a series of other hearing tests depending on your symptoms or health history.
During an audiometry test, you may wear headphones, and the audiologist will use a series of different sounds to check how well you can hear them. Your testing may also include a portion to test how well you hear and understand your own speech.
A tympanometry test will evaluate the middle ear, behind the eardrum, to gauge the condition and movement of that area as it responds to changes in pressure. The test will help your audiologist understand if your tympanic membrane is infected or damaged or if there is fluid present in the middle ear. You may also have your acoustic reflexes checked; this test will assess how well your eardrum protects you from loud noises.
Evaluating the results
At the end of your appointment, the audiologist will review the test results with you and discuss what treatment options and course of care would be best for you. This may include being fitted for a hearing aid or review options for assistive listening devices. No matter the outcome, be proud that you’ve taken an important step in improving your overall health!
Keep reading the CapTel blog for more information and resources for people with hearing loss.