What to Expect at your First Appointment
The first time you visit an Audiologist, you are in for a pleasant experience that is interesting and informative. You will gain an understanding of your hearing, identify any needs you may have and explore possible solutions. Bring someone with you. Most people find it helpful to bring a spouse, family member or friend to their first visit. You will get more out of your visit if someone close to you shares in the experience.
What to expect at your first visit:
• You will be talking about your hearing and health history with your Audiologist.
• Discuss your concerns regarding your hearing needs, situations and sounds that you have difficulty with in your everyday life.
• Your hearing assessment will include a variety of evaluation tasks depending on your concerns. The hearing assessment may include but is not limited to:
- An otoscopic examination which includes a physical examination of the ear canal and ear drum,
- Tympanometry (a pressure-tone test) and acoustic reflex testing (elicited by safe, louder sound) to view the efficiency of the middle ear system and the pathway of sound through the lower brainstem.
- Pure tone audiometry, which is the traditional testing that most people are familiar with, where you will be asked to respond to tones which change in pitch and loudness. This can be done in a soundproof booth or with specially calibrated testing headphones; with ear phones, ear inserts and a bone conductor device. It provides information regarding your threshold of hearing.
- Speech audiometry in both quiet and in the presence of background sound to obtain a better understanding of how your brain identifies speech at different levels and in different situations.
- The results obtained from the pure tone are recorded on an audiogram, and the speech audiometry testing shows a speech clarity result.
Auditory processing tasks which provide information regarding how your brain processes auditory information.
• By completing these assessment tasks, the Audiologist gains insight into your hearing ability and can provide you with the most appropriate guidelines for management.
• After the assessment is completed, your Audiologist will explain your results to you. You should understand whether you have a hearing loss or not. If you do have a hearing loss, you should gain an understanding about the significance of it, the type of hearing loss you have, and options for optimum management.
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