4 Things to Expect at Your First Audiologist Visit
If you are due to visit an audiologist for the first time, it’s natural to be nervous. Most of us don’t visit an audiologist until we’re in specific need of one, and you likely have no idea of what to expect from your appointment.
In an effort to help to ease your fears, below, you’ll find a list of four things that will almost certainly happen at your appointment. When you have a better idea of what the experience will entail, you should feel more confident about the appointment— so read on for the details you need…
You’ll explain your medical history to the audiologist
Your audiologist will need to ascertain background health information, as this may impact your hearing and ears in the future. In particular, they will need to know if you have ever taken medication that is considered to be “ototoxic”. Numerous common medications are known to be ototoxic; a term the medication may cause hearing damage. It is therefore wise to take a list of your previous and current medications along to your appointment with the audiologist.
The health of your ears will be examined
Audiologists are not only involved in your hearing; they also have a role to play in the overall health of your ears. Your ears will be examined for any obvious signs of damage and checked for infection. This should be a short, simple process, so there’s no need to worry about this phase of the appointment at all.
A hearing test (or tests) are administered
With the above two areas covered, your audiologist will be able to administer a hearing test to you. There are a number of different hearing tests that you may be offered:
- Pure-tone audiometry. A selection of noises will be played into headphones you are wearing, and you indicate which you can hear.
- Speech recognition. You listen to speech through headphones and interpret it as directed.
- Bone conduction. This tests the nerves involved in hearing, and involves the placement of a vibrating probe behind your ear.
- Tuning fork test. This is used to distinguish the potential cause of any hearing loss— i.e. is whether it is a mechanical physical issue, or related to nerve health.
- Tympanometry. This test is used if your audiologist suspects there is fluid in the middle ear.
You are most likely to experience a pure-tone audiometry test. If you’re not sure, then ask your audiologist for clarification on what test(s) will be performed during your appointment.
You will be advised on your next steps
When the examinations and tests are complete, your audiologist will advise you on your next steps. Your next steps will depend on the outcome of your hearing tests. If you have no hearing loss, you will likely just be advised to book another routine screening appointment in the future. If hearing loss has been identified, your audiologist will discuss options such as hearing aids with you.
An appointment with an audiologist is simple, useful, and easy to manage. Now you have an idea of what to expect from your appointment, you should feel more relaxed. You’ll also be ready to embrace the possibilities the appointment may offer you in terms of your hearing!