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What to Expect at Your First Hearing Appointment

Hearing Evaluation

If you have never had a hearing appointment before, perhaps you are unsure about what it will be like. When you don't know about something, it can be intimidating to face it, but understanding what might happen can help to make you more relaxed. By learning about what to expect at your first hearing appointment, you can feel more comfortable about having your hearing health checked out. A hearing test is an essential routine health check, which you shouldn't neglect. When you attend your first hearing appointment, you will experience several parts to the appointment that are designed to examine your hearing health thoroughly.

Consultation

Your first hearing appointment will start by talking to the audiologist. It's helpful for them to start learning a bit about you, and for you to have a chance to ask any questions that you might have. You can go over your medical history, discuss any problems that you might have with your hearing and talk about your lifestyle. Many people like to bring someone they trust to the appointment, who can be there for support and perhaps help by taking notes or reminding you of anything that you wanted to stay.

Ear examination

Before finding out how your ears are working internally, checking the exterior appearance of your ear can be very helpful. An outer ear inspection can help to pick up on issues such as a buildup of earwax or an ear infection. The audiologist will use an otoscope, which allows them to look into the ear canal and shine a light for a better idea of the health of your ears. Before testing your hearing, your ears should be clear of excess wax so that the most accurate results can be collected. Wax can block your ears and prevent you from hearing correctly, but it's a problem that can easily be solved.

Middle and inner ear inspection

There are lots of different things that work together to help you hear, including different parts of your ears and the auditory processing center of your brain. The middle ear and inner ear both play important parts in picking up and processing sound, so ensuring that they are functioning as they should be is important. Immittance testing checks the eardrum, the middle ear and the acoustic reflex to see if the correct responses to sound are in place. Otoacoustic testing of the inner ear checks the health of the outer hair cells in the inner ear.

Pure-tone testing and bone conducting

To test how well you can hear, some different methods of testing can be used. Pure-tone testing involves playing sounds into your ear through headphones, while bone conduction uses a headset to test your hearing. Tones are played at different volumes and frequencies, and you will be asked to indicate when you can hear a sound. The results are plotted on a graph to show the lowest levels that you can hear in each of your ears. These tests are carried out in a sound-treated room to help make the results as accurate as possible.

Speech testing

It's also important to know how well you can understand speech in a variety of environments. Testing your comprehension shows whether you have hearing loss that is affecting your ability to hear people talk and to engage in conversation. This is tested by asking you to repeat words and phrases so that the audiologist can see how much you can hear. If hearing aids are recommended for you, doing this will also help to fit your hearing aids correctly.

Reviewing test results

After having your hearing tested, your audiologist can sit down with you and go through the results. They will explain what the results mean and show you your audiogram, which plots out the results of the pure tone testing. This is an excellent time to make sure you understand your results and to start talking about what your next steps might be. Your audiologist can tell you whether you're a good candidate for hearing aids and discuss how they might be able to improve your life. If you have any more questions after your hearing tests or you're not sure if you understand something, you have the chance to make sure that you know all that you want to know.

Get in touch with Listen Hear Diagnostics by calling (347) 450-9872 to make a hearing appointment and find out more about how a hearing test can help you.