Personalized Hearing Care

What Happens During an Audiologist Appointment?

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

Most people don’t know what to expect when they visit an audiologist for the first time. With around one in eight US citizens living with hearing loss, though, appointments like this are a lot more common than you might expect. Hearing experts work extremely hard to make sure that their patients get the treatments they need, but the process that they go through will rarely change from person to person. Let’s take a look at what will happen during your next audiology appointment.

The initial discussion

An audiologist appointment will usually begin with a discussion to determine the current state of your hearing and the experience you’ve had since you first noticed your hearing loss. You will be able to ask questions, but will also have to answer them, and your audiologist may even perform some minor tests at this stage. This discussion gives you an excellent opportunity to break the ice with your audiologist, building rapport and making it easier to feel comfortable as the comprehensive tests begin.

Hearing tests

Next, it will be time to go through some hearing tests. These tests will usually be chosen based on the initial discussion you’ve had with your audiologist, ensuring that the right ones are used to determine the cause and extent of your hearing loss. There are three main tests that you will usually be exposed to during an appointment like this.

  • Otoscopy Test: An Otoscopy test involves looking into your ear canal to identify any obstructions, like earwax, that could impact your hearing and cause hearing loss.
  • Tympanometry Test: A Tympanometry test involves applying a small amount of pressure on your eardrum to assess the response. This can be used to detect fluid, infections, and other hearing problems.
  • Audiometry Test: An Audiometry test consists of playing soft sounds at different pitches to determine what you can hear and what you can’t.

Hearing test results analysis

The results you get from an audiologist’s test are almost instant, giving you and your audiologist the chance to analyze them together. Your audiologist will explain what each of the graphs they present means, while also giving you a good understanding of the extent of your hearing loss. At this point, you will be able to start talking about the treatments that will be used to improve your hearing loss.
Proposed Treatments

While hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss, your audiologist may propose additional or alternative treatments that will also improve this condition. Earwax removal, antibiotics, and a range of other treatments may be offered, but you will always have the chance to discuss this with your audiologist to make sure that you’re making the right choice. You will always be given a choice at this stage, but you may not be offered certain treatments if your audiologist doesn’t think they will provide any benefits.

Hearing aid fittings

Every ear canal is different, and this means that hearing aids often need to be fitted to work properly. The first stage of the fitting process will involve determining which type of hearing aid will work for you. Some people prefer options that will sit inside their ear canal and will be almost invisible, like invisible-in-canal (IIC) and completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids, while others will prefer in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids that sit outside of the ear canal.

Once you’ve chosen the hearing aid style you like, it will be time to start looking at specific devices. There are loads of options on the market for products like this, but your audiologist will be able to explain the features and benefits of the hearing aids you have available.

With a device chosen, the last stage in this process will involve fitting and calibrating the hearing aid, along with showing you how to use and maintain it. This stage is one of the most crucial in this process, as it will influence the experience you have with your hearing aid until your next appointment. You can always revisit your audiologist if you find yourself confused by your device in the future.

Book an audiologist appointment with Lowe Audiology

Here at Lowe Audiology, our expert audiologists work extremely hard to ensure that all of our patients receive the very best service. We will support you and work to provide solutions to your hearing loss from your very first appointment, and we pride ourselves on keeping our patients comfortable as they go through this process. If you’ve experienced hearing loss or want to look for a new hearing aid, we encourage you to get in touch with our friendly team by calling at 260-222-7925.