If you suspect you have hearing loss or a change in your hearing, visiting a hearing professional is the first step in finding out what kind of treatment you may need. At Hearing Well Matters!, our hearing instrument specialists will conduct testing to determine how we can best help you. In comparison to most medical tests, auditory tests are relatively fast and non-invasive, lasting about an hour.
When you arrive, our hearing professional will discuss any issues and look at your medical and hearing case history. We will also assess the communication difficulties you have when hearing. We will examine the outer ear with an otoscope, and use a video otoscope to visually examine the ear canal and ear drum. We will then decide on hearing tests that are appropriate for your needs.
The tests may include:
- A tympanometry test to look at the health of your ear drum and ear canal, as well as auditory neural pathways.
- Pure-tone “beep” tests to check how well you are able to hear certain frequencies.
- Speech tests to assess how well you understand speech in quiet and noisy conditions.
- Certain other special tests based on your results and hearing loss needs.
Hearing Test Results
The overall results from your hearing test will provide the hearing care professional the best possible information on what sounds you may be hearing or those you may be missing. The results of this testing will also allow the hearing care professional to make the best treatment recommendations, which typically include hearing aids and/ or assistive listening devices.
What Happens After the Hearing Test?
Your results will be reviewed by our hearing professionals. It can be helpful for you to be joined by a friend or a family member for the discussion. Any concerns you might have about your condition can now be addressed. At this stage, appropriate suggestions may include further testing, medical referral, or hearing amplification.
With the tests, we evaluate your hearing skills effectively and provide you with information and a recommendation on your treatment options. It may involve hearing aids or other assistive hearing devices. We may also refer you to your family physician or an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT specialist if a medical problem is detected.
Hearing Aid Recommendation
If your hearing test reveals a permanent hearing loss, hearing aids may be recommended. Your hearing professional may explain what sounds you have difficulty hearing, and what hearing aids can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In some cases, you may even be able to try a demonstration set of hearing aids for a couple of weeks.
Your hearing professional will help you choose the best hearing aid style, features and level of sophistication based on your type and degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your financial circumstances. Some hobbies and occupations may benefit from different hearing aid styles or features, so your hearing care provider may have you fill out a questionnaire to assist during the evaluation process. Your hearing healthcare professional will provide you a recommendation on which hearing aids are best for you, but the final decision is your choice.
Once you make a decision, the hearing professional may take impressions of your ears if you selected custom-fit hearing aids or behind-the-ear hearing aids that require earmolds. Hearing aids are usually ordered from a manufacturer, and then programmed by your hearing professional on a second visit to meet your specific hearing needs. There is an usually an adjustment period when first wearing hearing aids, so it’s possible your provider may make additional changes to your hearing aids over time to ensure that you’re getting the best listening and communication experience possible.