What to Expect at an Audiology Appointment
Whether you have some concerns about your hearing, ear, and balance health, or your primary health care provider has recommended that you make an appointment, your audiologist is the most qualified individual to help address any issues you might be experiencing. With either a masters or doctorate in audiology, they are equipped to inspect, diagnose, and treat all manner of conditions affecting the ear, hearing, and balance.
Your first appointment with your audiologist is not likely to be very complicated. However, to make you feel as comfortable as possible and help you prepare, we are going to look at what you can expect when you step through our doors.
Getting to know you
After you are first welcomed to the establishment and you get the necessary insurance paperwork out of the way at the reception, you will be asked to come into the audiologist’s office. Here, we’re going to go through a few formalities that, despite seeming relatively minor, can play an important role in helping to treat you.
To begin with, we’re going to want to get a comprehensive idea of your medical history, as well as any complaints or symptoms that you might have. Your audiologist may also ask questions about your lifestyle and working environment, as both of these can affect your ear and hearing health.
If you need, you can bring a close friend or family member to the audiologist’s office, if you are likely to forget any information or feel nervous. It’s also recommended that you get an idea of and write down your medical history, including any medication that you are on so that it becomes easier to give the audiologist that information.
Testing your hearing
Most people first come to an audiologist because they have noticed changes to their hearing. However, if you haven’t, your audiologist is likely to recommend a hearing test. Not only can this help diagnose hearing loss, but it can give them a baseline test to compare to any future tests.
During the otoscopy, the audiologist will use a non-invasive scope instrument called an otoscope to inspect the outer ear, checking for physical obstructions like swelling or earwax, as well as signs of infection or ruptures.
They may go through tympanometry, applying pressure to the eardrum to make sure that it responds to it as it should. Audiometry is the final type of test and may involve you hearing both tones and words at various pitches, responding to each that you hear.
However, the audiologist will likely only perform the audiometry test if the others show no obstructions or issues with hearing. For instance, if there was any ear wax buildup in your ear, then your audiologist is likely to recommend a professional cleaning before they try to perform a hearing test.
Looking over your results
Audiometry tests are designed to help your audiologist measure the entire range of your hearing. At the end of the test, they will have plotted the results down on chart known as an audiogram. The audiologist will go over this audiogram with you, showing you where your range of hearing currently is.
If there are no signs of hearing loss, and the other tests didn’t indicate anything wrong, then you will be free to go home. However, depending on what they find, the audiologist may also recommend treatment.
If a hearing aid is recommended
With the vast majority of hearing loss cases, hearing aids are going to be the recommended treatment. These devices, which come in a variety of styles with different features, are designed to help amplify sounds in the environment so that the wearer can better hear them.
If you need a hearing aid, the audiologist is likely to recommend that you come back in the future. They might help you select the right hearing aid to meet your needs there or do so in a future appointment. Whatever the case, they will ask you to come back for the hearing aid fitting. This is when the audiologist not only helps program and fits the hearing aid, but also provides a range of recommendations on how to best use it.
Get in touch today
If you have any other questions about how we conduct an audiology appointment, or you simply want to learn more about what an audiologist can do for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with CLINIC. You can get in touch with us today at PHONE and ask us any questions that you would like.