Congratulations on taking this first step toward better hearing health! If you’re a little nervous about your upcoming appointment with your hearing care professional, there’s no need. These visits are easy, quick, and painless – and can completely change your life.
1. Get to know your hearing care provider
Expect to spend a little time just chatting with your hearing care professional (HCP) or audiologist about your health, lifestyle, and any symptoms you might be experiencing. It’s very helpful to bring someone with you who can also talk about your potential hearing loss, as well as help you remember any details from your visit. If you have any questions for your HCP, write them down ahead of time to help you remember to ask them during your visit.
2. Measure your hearing
Your HCP will measure your hearing ability, including how well you can hear sounds and speech. This usually takes place in a quiet room or sound booth, and you just need to listen and respond to their prompts. There are no right or wrong answers. This helps evaluate your hearing capabilities.
They’ll also measure your hearing using something called pure tone testing, which helps reveal how well you can hear tones of different pitches or frequencies. With this, you’ll wear earphones and listen to a range of pure tones that make up the sounds most important for the full experience of listening in everyday life. You’ll confirm that you’ve heard each sound.
This helps measure your threshold of hearing and can sometimes even uncover potential causes of hearing loss.
3. Test your speech
Your hearing care provider may also ask you to repeat familiar words and phrases, which will become softer and softer until you can no longer hear them. You will also be asked to repeat words spoken at a comfortable loudness level to measure how well you understand speech.
4. Your customized hearing solution
Next, your HCP will take all these results and mark them on a graph called an audiogram. The quietest sounds are shown at the top of the scale while the loudest sounds are at the bottom. Your audiogram and consultation will show:
- Whether you have hearing loss
- The extent of your hearing loss
- How well you hear high- or low-pitched sounds
- If one ear hears better than the other
Your hearing care provider may perform additional tests if they determine they need more information for a better profile. They will use this audiogram to design a personalized hearing solution.
Interested in learning how to prepare for your upcoming appointment check out our blog Five Ways to Prepare For Your Hearing Appointment and if you haven’t scheduled your hearing test yet, talk to a hearing care provider in your area today.