What to Expect at Your First Audiologist Appointment
Whether you’re concerned that you’re starting to suffer from hearing loss, or you simply want a more complete picture of your health, arranging your first appointment with the audiologist is always a good step. But many people have never really considered their hearing health before, so they’re not certain what they’re in for. Here, we look at what you can expect from that first appointment.
Looking at your medical history
Having a complete and up-to-date medical history when visiting the audiologist is important. Your audiologist will want a complete picture of your health, so getting your medical records from doctors you have visited in the past can help you provide the most accurate information. There are a lot of conditions like heart disease and diabetes that can play a large role in your hearing health. Of course, they will want to know about any past experiences of ear infections, head trauma and hearing loss, too. They may ask about your family’s history of hearing loss.
Reviewing your hearing habits
Your lifestyle is just as important as your medical history. For instance, if you work on a construction site or you spend a lot of time going to concerts or musicals, then that exposure to loud noise can be particularly helpful for an audiologist to know. Additionally, they may be able to provide some helpful advice on how you stop that excessive noise from causing any further damage to your hearing. Learning about your lifestyle can also impact the treatment you get. Different hearing aids can be more helpful depending on whether you tend to spend time alone or with a small group or whether you are a social person often surrounded by others.
The hearing test
The hearing test begins with a visual inspection of the ear, both the exterior and taking a look at the interior with a harmless device called an otoscope. This helps the audiologist see whether there are any immediately noticeable issues. Then your hearing is tested, often looking at how well you perceive different tones and forms of speech. Other tests may be included depending on what the audiologist suspects.
Looking at the results
The audiologist will use an audiogram to chart your hearing ability. With these results, they can help you determine whether you have hearing loss, as well as severity. Hearing aids are the most common and successful treatment for hearing loss. If you do need a hearing aid, it will likely be fitted at your next appointment.
Your audiologist is your most reliable source of diagnosis, treatment and advice on all things related to your hearing and balance health. If you have any trouble with hearing, dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears or any other questions, the audiologist should be the first point of contact.