It’s common for people to avoid addressing their hearing loss – sometimes it’s a matter of finances, while for other individuals it signifies that they are getting older. Yet many avoid seeing a hearing healthcare professional simply because they don’t know what to expect, and it can be intimidating to schedule a hearing evaluation without knowing what’s going to happen.
However, these evaluations are incredibly important and are quick and easy to participate in! The team at The Hearing Care Professionals will walk you through each step of your appointment so that you feel relaxed and right at home. Combining the latest industry equipment with our 30 years of experience, we work with you to diagnose hearing loss and create solutions that meet your specific needs.
Before Your First Appointment
Like any other medical appointment, the staff at The Hearing Care Professionals will welcome you to our office and will ask that you complete our new patient paperwork. This information includes your medical history, any medications you are currently taking, and the concerns you have around your hearing ability. Any injuries, exposure to loud noise, or trauma should be noted as this information will help us to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Please feel free to bring a friend or family member with you to your first visit. Since hearing loss often affects one’s relationships with others, it’s important to have a supportive person with you to help make the right decision for your life.
Hearing Consultation: Reviewing Your Needs
No two patients have the same set of symptoms or concerns, and at The Hearing Care Professionals we treat every patient as an individual. To this end, we will spend time getting to know you and how your hearing ability relates to your everyday life. Learning all about your hobbies, your occupation, and when you first noticed your symptoms will aid in creating a treatment plan that works for your unique needs.
During The Hearing Evaluation
In most cases, it takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Using a specialized tool called an otoscope, our professionals will physically examine the inside of your ears to ensure they are clear and healthy. If there is any type of blockage or abnormality, it can inform how we proceed with the rest of the visit. Something as minor as earwax build-up could be the cause of your hearing loss, so our team likes to carefully examine your ears before we begin testing your hearing.
Experiencing a hearing loss does not mean that you cannot hear any sounds at all, as the volume and frequency limits of our ears are quite vast. With our hearing evaluation, we work to determine the specific thresholds of sound that you’re still able to hear and identify the ones you cannot. Using a pair of headphones, we will play various sounds and ask you to indicate when you can hear them. Your results will help to determine the type and extent of your hearing loss, if any is present.
The hearing evaluation may include any of the following tests:
- Air conduction testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
- Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing
Reviewing Your Results
After completing a series of tests, our professionals will sit down with you and discuss your results. You can feel confident that each element of your hearing loss will be explained in great detail, as your understanding of this information will largely impact the hearing treatment that you select. Details including the type and degree of your hearing loss will be clearly explained and you’ll have an idea of how often you may be missing the sounds around you.
Should you decide to purchase hearing aids, we’ll examine the wide range of options available. Rest easy, as none of the hearing aids on today’s market are large or beige – instead, manufacturers are producing small and discrete devices that hold a variety of advanced features. Depending on your type of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your budget, we’ll make specific recommendations but will ultimately leave the decision in your hands. Our job is to inform and guide you but never to make a choice for you.
After Your Visit
Once you have made your hearing aid purchase, we will review how to use them during a fitting appointment. This visit allows us to program your devices in a way that works best for you, but remember, it may take some time before you fully adjust to the plethora of sounds around you. We recommend taking a gradual approach while acclimating to your hearing aids, as this often produces the best results.
The team at The Hearing Care Professionals is always just a phone call away and we encourage patients to contact us with questions. Along with follow-up visits and regular hearing evaluations, your visit with us is the first step toward a lifetime of healthy hearing!