A hearing aid evaluation is an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss your hearing and the best treatment options for you. During the evaluation, your hearing will be tested, and you will be asked questions about your hearing and communication difficulties. This information will help the audiologist determine if you would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Here's what you can expect during your evaluation.
Your audiologist will physically examine your ears with a lighted instrument called an otoscope to look for any abnormalities that could be contributing to your hearing loss.
Several different types of tests can be performed during a hearing aid evaluation, including:
- Audiogram. This test measures your ability to hear different pitches and volumes of sound. The audiologist will make sounds at different pitches and volumes and ask you when you hear them. This information is then plotted on a graph, which the audiologist will use to determine the severity and type of your hearing loss.
- Speech perception testing. Speech perception testing assesses how well you understand speech by playing a recording of someone talking and asking you to repeat what you think you heard. The audiologist may also ask you to read from a list of words or to complete a sentence.
- Objective testing. This type of test measures how well you hear sounds in the environment, such as the hum of a refrigerator or the ticking of a clock.
- Tympanometry. Tympanometry is a test that shows the health of the middle ear and the eardrum itself. For example, if your eardrum is not moving normally, you may have excess pressure due to fluid or earwax buildup.
- Acoustic reflex testing. Acoustic reflex testing measures your brain's response to loud sounds. When you hear a loud sound, the muscles in your middle ear will naturally contract to protect your hearing. The audiologist may use a small probe to measure this response.
These tests can provide further information about the severity of your hearing loss and how it is impacting your ability to communicate effectively.
Sometimes a doctor can pose a question you never considered. As a result, you can be caught off-guard only to later realize that you answered incorrectly. Knowing the types of questions you will be asked ahead of time can help you organize your thoughts and have a clear picture of your hearing health before the appointment. These questions may include:
- When did you first start noticing problems with your hearing?
- Do you have difficulty understanding conversations when there is background noise?
- Do people seem to mumble when they speak, or do they speak too fast for you to understand?
- Do you have trouble following along in group conversations?
- Do you avoid social situations because of your hearing difficulties?
Answering these questions truthfully will help the audiologist determine the level of hearing and communication difficulties you are experiencing.
A hearing aid evaluation is important if you think you may have a hearing loss, and now that you know what to expect, you can go into your evaluation feeling prepared.
For more information, contact a company like Audiology Services.