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What to Expect When You See an Audiologist

an audiologist is examining her patient's ear canals

An audiologist is someone who is there to help you every step of the way. If you suspect that you have issues with your hearing, an audiologist is there to provide support and help you restore your hearing to the best of your ability. Naturally, it can feel daunting venturing into an audiologist’s office for the first time. But if you have already scheduled a visit, here is what you can expect.

Discuss your medical history

Prior to inspecting your ears and testing your hearing, the audiologist will want to know about your medical background. This can help them during the diagnosis process. They will discuss any hearing problems prevalent in the family, but they will also discuss your general lifestyle, including your working situation. 

Because some environments will bring more issues to an individual's hearing than others, it is important before you head into the audiologist office that you gather as much information as possible. It can benefit you to have someone there as a support to provide extra information you may not have considered yourself.

Conduct a hearing exam

The hearing test comprises several stages. The hearing test will begin with a physical inspection of the inner ear and the ear canal. Using light and an otoscope, the audiologist will check for any abnormalities, as well as signs of blockages such as earwax. Following this, there are some tests including the tympanometry test. This tests the middle ear to see how the eardrum responds to light pressure.

Following this, the audiometry part of the test is where you sit in a booth and are asked to press a button when you hear a certain sound. The test is usually broken down into two areas. The air conduction aspect of the test will check the softest sound you can hear through headphones. The second aspect is a bone conduction test, which is done by stimulating the inner ear. After the tests are completed, the audiologist will want to have a conversation with you to give them a better idea of how your ears distinguish certain sounds, such as dialogue.

Develop a treatment plan

Depending on the outcome of the hearing test, the audiologist will advise you on the next steps. If your hearing is within a normal range, they will ask you to book an appointment for a year’s time, but if there are any issues, they will tell you the best course of action to treat your hearing problem. 

This could consist of hearing aids or may recommend a further course of testing through an external specialist. If you are diagnosed with a hearing problem and are recommended a course of hearing aids, they may require you to have impressions taken and any additional appointments will help you to fit the device and provide general advice on how to take care of it.

Having an appointment with an audiologist is crucial to determine if there is any level of hearing loss. If you have recently booked an appointment with an audiologist, it may seem daunting, but it is far from the case. In fact, you should look forward to having an answer to your hearing issues!