So you think you have a hearing loss. At least, that’s what everyone is telling you. If you have already made an appointment to see and audiologist, you are a rock star! And you probably have a few questions about what is going to happen.
Be sure to arrive about 10 minutes early to take care of a little paperwork. You might even check their website to see if the intake forms are posted online. (Don’t forget to take your insurance cards and a list of any prescribed medications you are taking.)
For the first 10 or 15 minutes, the audiologist will introduce themselves and ask a bunch of questions. Some of the questions won’t seem to have much to do with hearing, but your answers will help the audiologist understand you and any obstacles you might be facing. How’s your vision? Dexterity? Are you a busy mom? A musician? What health concerns are you facing in addition to hearing loss? How and when does your perceived loss affect you the most? What are your concerns?
The hearing test will take about 20 minutes. For the test, you will be seated in a small soundproof room and the audiologist will take a peek in your ears (and likely clean them out, if necessary), put headphones on your ears, and maybe put a headband on your head. You will respond to a series of sounds and repeat words and sentences. Don’t let the word “test” throw you — you’ll do great!
Following the hearing test, the audiologist will walk you through the results. This part can be a little confusing at first, so feel free to interrupt him or her and ask lots of questions. They are your test results, and it is your hearing. The audiologist will be thrilled that you’re curious. Remember, hearing is their favorite subject!
If you have a hearing loss, the next step is figuring out what to do about it. Not everyone needs hearing aids, and some hearing losses are medically treatable. If your hearing trouble is limited to television, there are divinely simple solutions. If your hearing trouble is more general, hearing aids might be recommended.
Before you leave, ask the audiologist to send a copy of your hearing evaluation results to your physician; it is a medical test and needs to be included with your records. Besides, it is always a good idea to keep your primary care physician informed.
Finally, take the audiologist’s business card with you. Chances are, you will spend some time thinking about the appointment and might have a question or two that you didn’t think of at the office. Don’t hesitate to call or drop a quick email.