WHAT TO EXPECT AT THIS APPOINTMENT
Before beginning the test, you will be asked some hearing health questions such as if you have a family history of hearing loss or a history of noise exposure. Your answers are very important and may help determine whether additional tests (such as tympanometry, for middle ear function) will need to be performed.
Typically, the audiologist will look in your ears with an otoscope. This instrument is used to see your ear canal and ear drum. It can also determine if there is a significant amount of wax blocking your ear canal.
Your hearing test is performed in a sound booth and consists of two parts. The first portion you will be asked to listen for a series of soft ‘beeps’ or ‘tones’ while wearing headphones. You are instructed to say “YES” or push a button each time you hear the sound. The second portion is speech testing. You will be asked to repeat words at different volumes. Sometimes you may perform this task while in the presence of background noise.
When the testing is complete, results are documented on a chart called an audiogram. The audiologist will discuss the findings with you and make recommendations based on the results. Recommendations could include referral to an ear doctor (ENT), use of noise protection or proceeding with hearing aids if there is hearing loss.
It is important that you feel comfortable with your diagnosis and explanation of your hearing health. Now is the time to ask questions if you have any!