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What to Expect on Your First Visit to an Audiologist

– 5 minute read

Concept by Iowa Hearing Offers Hearing Loss Treatments

If you’ve been struggling to follow conversations or hear the television, exploring options like the hearing loss services at Concept by Iowa Hearing can significantly improve your quality of life. You may be considering this step on your own, or perhaps a family member has suggested it, or you might be doing research for a loved one who has trouble hearing. In any case, visiting a hearing center or meeting with an audiologist might sound intimidating. However, it’s important to remember that audiologists are highly trained medical professionals here to help you. Understanding what to expect on your first visit to an audiologist, including how to prepare, what type of hearing tests might be performed, and the support you can expect from your audiologist in the future, can make it a stress-free appointment, just like it should be.

Preparing for Your Audiology Visit

Audiologists use tests and diagnostic tools to measure your ability to hear, but your input is an integral part of the appointment. Before your visit, it’s a good idea to write down some notes about your hearing health, the environments you have trouble hearing in, and any noises or frequencies you find more challenging to decipher than others. If you have any medical history or records relating to your hearing, past ear infections, or general health concerns, it’s helpful to discuss those. Hearing loss has been associated with other medical conditions, so being open and honest about your health is essential. You’ll also want to make a list of any questions you might have for your audiologist, and many patients find it helpful to bring a family member or friend with them for support or to act as an advocate during the appointment.

Hearing Tests Performed by the Audiologist

During your visit, your audiologist will perform a series of hearing tests to determine the severity and type of hearing loss you might be experiencing. These tests are painless, and you may have had some of these completed during routine physical exams with your primary care doctor. The most common tests performed at a hearing center include:

  • Otoscopy – The audiologist will perform a physical exam of the ear to check for blockages or earwax buildup.
  • Tone Testing – This involves listening to sounds at various frequencies through headphones. You’ll indicate when you can hear them by raising your hand, pushing a button, or verbally acknowledging them.
  • Speech Discrimination – Your ability to understand speech is a critical assessment, and we’ll test how well you can do that in quiet and noisy environments.
  • Tympanometry – This test is designed to assess the health of your eardrum and how it responds to sounds.
  • Bone Conduction – If there is a blockage or injury to the outer or middle ear, this test bypasses those areas to focus on the inner ear’s ability to function.

Immediate Review of Your Test Results

One of the advantages of seeing an audiologist is our advanced technology can provide instant results from your hearing tests. You don’t have to wait and schedule a follow-up appointment to review your results. We’ll provide an accurate assessment of your hearing loss and present various treatment options during your first appointment.

Discussing Hearing Aid Styles and Options

If your hearing test results indicate you might benefit from hearing aids, your audiologist will discuss the different types of devices available and work with you to find the best option for your specific needs and budget. They will also provide information on how to care for your hearing aids, proper cleaning and maintenance, and helpful tips for adjusting to wearing them. It’s common for patients to receive a trial period when first starting with new hearing aids to ensure the device meets their requirements and provides better hearing. The different types of hearing aids include:

  • Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) – This is the most common type due to its durability and versatility.
  • Completely-in-Canal (CIC) – This is a more discreet style for anyone concerned about an aid’s appearance.
  • In-the-Ear (ITE) – Not quite as discreet as CIC models, but this option is easier to operate than that style.
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE) – Patients with significant hearing loss have the best results with this option.

Continuing Support From Your Audiologist

Sensorineural hearing loss, the most common type, is a lifelong condition, so building a strong and productive relationship with your audiologist is important. Our team is always here to provide continuing support, including regular hearing tests, adjustments to your hearing aids, and advice on protecting your hearing going forward. Our hearing care centers throughout Iowa offer a range of services while you own your device, including repairs, cleaning, modifications, and upgrades. Hearing aids generally last about three to seven years. When it’s time to replace your device, we’re happy to discuss new technology you might want to have included in your new hearing aids.

Schedule Your Hearing Test Today

If you’re concerned about hearing loss, schedule an appointment with an audiologist at a Concept by Iowa Hearing center in Iowa. As described here, the first visit to an audiologist is a productive appointment that can provide immediate results to improve your hearing after some gentle testing and dialogue about your personal experiences. Our audiologists are here to help you. By preparing for your visit, understanding what tests to expect, and being open to discussing hearing aids, you can achieve a better quality of life with better hearing. Find one of our hearing care center locations near you and schedule your free hearing test.

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