What can you expect when you come in for your hearing evaluation test?
When you arrive for your exam, you will be greeted by the front office staff and asked to fill out a form that includes your personal information, medical history and verifes your insurance information. You will also receive a copy of a Notice of Privacy as mandated by law.
- During your examination, the audiologist will review your personal information with you and will ask you some questions that are designed to discover the specific types of environments in which you may be experiencing some difficulty in hearing.
- Next, the audiologist may look into your ears by using an otoscope. This instrument is used to see the ear canal and the ear drum and whether or not there is ear wax obstructing the canal or any signs of a medical issue that calls for referral to one of our ENT doctors. Sometimes the audiologist will have a video otoscope so you can see inside your ear as well!
- The first test that is conducted is the pure tone hearing test. This is conducted in a soundproof booth. The audiologist will place headphones that are connected to an audiometer over your ears. The audiometer transmits a series of tones at a variety of volumes into your ears to determine the exact point or “threshold” at which you can hear various frequencies of sounds. When you hear a sound, you will be asked to push a button or raise your hand.
- The next test is the speech test. During this test you will listen to a series of one and two syllable words at different volumes and be asked to repeat them. This will determine the level at which the patient can not only detect, but understand speech.
- Finally, you may have to take a speech discrimination or in noise test. This test will determine how clearly you hear speech and the fine differences in syllables and words.
The results of your test will be recorded on a graph called an audiogram, which the audiologist will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing level in frequencies (pitch) and decibels (volume).
At times special tests such as OAE testing or BERA may be called for, especially when evaluating young children. Your audiologist or ENT doctor will know when to perform these tests that give valuable added information on hearing levels. Our audiologists and ENT doctors all have extensive experience with testing of children.
There are also occasions when testing may be in order for a complaint of tinnitus or vertigo. Some of these tests can be performed in office and others may require being seen at another facility.
If test results indicate hearing aids will be helpful a hearing aid evaluation can be done. This includes a demonstration so you can listen to hearing aids and ask questions about function and maintenance. Type and style of hearing aids will also be discussed and if desired, you can begin a 30 day trial to determine how well the hearing aids perform in your daily life. Costs and payment options will also be covered during a hearing aid evaluation.