What to Expect at Your First Hearing Exam
If you’ve never been to an audiologist for a hearing test, then you’re probably unsure what to expect. Having an idea of what will occur during your hearing exam helps you to not only prepare for your appointment, but to also jot down any questions or concerns you may have. A hearing test is a relatively simple process and the evaluations are non-invasive and will provide the audiologist with a wealth of information.
If you’re not sure how to prepare for your hearing test, consider the following things that you can expect so you can get the most out of this appointment.
You’ll provide a medical history
Before beginning your hearing tests, it’s important for your audiologist to gather some information. This includes a medical history and any medications that you might be on, along with any problems with your ears that you may have experienced in the past. Any family history of hearing loss in your family can be important to note too. You may also be asked about your lifestyle, whether you spend extended amounts of time around loud noise for work or hobbies; this can clue us into any outside factors that could impact your ability to hear. Finally, you will provide more information about the exact problem you are experiencing, whether it’s a feeling of fullness in your ears or a ringing. If you are simply having a routine checkup to establish a baseline, it’s still important to provide the audiologist with the information above.
Your ears will be examined
When you see a dentist, they inspect your mouth, and when you go for an eye test, they look at your eyes. So, it’s no surprise that an audiologist will examine your ears as part of your hearing exam. This is done to check the health of your inner ear to see if everything is as it should be. In some patients, there could be growth or specific problems that need more attention. For example, by looking at your ears, an audiologist could see an impaction caused by earwax. This indicates you have an earwax issue, which could be causing some of your hearing problems or ear pain.
It's important to inspect your ears so the audiologist can assess their health, but it also helps ensure that nothing will get in the way of accurate hearing test results. Going back to the earwax example, if a test was conducted without knowing you had a buildup in your ears, then it may make it seem like your hearing loss is more severe than it actually is.
You’ll have several different hearing tests
Most people are unaware that a hearing test is actually made up of at least two different tests, sometimes more. First, a pure-tone test will be conducted to measure your ability to hear different tones at various pitches. This is done by playing tones through a set of hearing devices for you to listen to. When you hear the sound, you hold your hand up as an indication. Your results are then charted on an audiogram.
Next, a speech test will typically be performed. This evaluates your ability to hear words and conversations. The audiologist will play different conversations replicating different settings through the hearing devices, which you’re then asked to repeat.
Sometimes, you could also have a pressure test to see how responsive your eardrum is and how well it can transmit sound. This is done by altering the ear pressure in your ear to see how your eardrum responds.
All of these tests are conducted in soundproof environments to ensure the results are totally accurate.
Your results are discussed
With this information in hand, the audiologist will go over the results of your hearing test and any recommendations they think are necessary. If a hearing loss has been indicated, the audiologist will talk to you about treatment options – particularly hearing aids – as these are the most common solution. Your audiologist will go over the various types of hearing aids with you and help you to select the right treatment for your particular needs.
If you’ve never had a hearing test, and you’re worried about the health of your hearing, then get in touch with Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C. today. You can reach our team by calling (979) 292-8501 for our Lake Jackson office or (713) 827-1767 for our Houston location. We’re happy to book you for a hearing exam with one of our knowledgeable audiologists. The sooner you book, the quicker we can conduct the examination and determine whether or not you have hearing loss.