What to Expect at an Audiology Appointment
Booking an appointment with an audiologist is a great opportunity to learn about what you can do to better protect and preserve your hearing. The following article will give you an overview of what you might expect on the day of your appointment and some information on how we work with patients through their treatment process. We hope this helps answer any questions that may be running through your head!
What does an audiologist do?
An audiologist is someone who works with people who have hearing loss or balance problems. Their practice uses state-of-the-art technology to help patients manage their conditions through counseling, education, training tools for daily living activities (assistive listening devices), as well as customized amplification devices. If you suspect you have hearing loss, an audiologist is the best place to go to for answers as well as information regarding your hearing!
What will happen at your audiology appointment?
One of the first things that will happen is a hearing test. This involves measuring your ability to hear sound frequencies in each ear and creating an audiogram graph. It provides information about how loud sounds need to be for you to perceive them at different pitches. Your audiologist may also run some tests for tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears).
What are possible diagnoses?
Your audiologist uses what they learn from their examination combined with results from other medical professionals' assessments, as well as patient history. They then give you one or more of these potential diagnoses:
- Conductive hearing loss: The most common type of hearing loss where there's damage to parts of the inner ear or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: The type of hearing loss that comes from damage to the sensory hair cells (nerve endings) in the cochlea, which may be caused by:
- Noise exposure
- Mixed hearing loss: A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This is often seen with otosclerosis.
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) - An issue with listening skills such as understanding speech or discriminating sounds like those used for conversation versus background noise. Traditional treatments focus on using different kinds of amplification devices or auditory training programs specifically designed for CAPD.
- Exposure to certain medications and Meniere's Disease
What will happen after the diagnosis?
Your audiologist may recommend hearing aids for you to use or other options like cochlear implants. Their goal is to help you understand what's causing your condition so you can work together towards a treatment plan that works best for your needs! They can also provide information on effective ways of communicating with others and managing background noise in your everyday life.
How can you prepare for an audiology appointment?
Make sure you arrive on time and let us know if anything changes. Bring someone with you to help take notes or remember information for you (if needed). Be prepared to discuss your symptoms in detail, like what they are, how often they happen, when they first started happening, etc. In addition, write down any medications that you're currently taking, including dosage amounts & frequency of intake; this includes over-the-counter drugs as well! If possible, bring a list with pictures/descriptions, too, since it can be hard to keep track of everything sometimes. This is helpful because certain drug interactions may cause side effects related to hearing loss.
How long does an audiology appointment take?
The duration of an audiology appointment depends on your concerns and how much detail you go into when describing them. A typical appointment takes about 45 minutes or an hour, but if there's a lot to cover, then the time goes by quickly!
What are hearing aids, and how do they work?
Hearing aids are electronic devices that help amplify sound so it can be heard more clearly. They come in different shapes & sizes and have components like microphones, amplifiers (speakers), batteries for power, controls (volume), etc.
What to do if you suspect you have hearing loss?
If you suspect that you have a hearing loss, schedule an appointment with your local audiologist - they will be able to give you all the necessary information and help you need to make an informed decision and live your best life moving forward! If you would like to book an appointment or receive further information regarding a possible appointment, feel free to contact Advanced Hearing of Brighton at 810-355-2245 – we're also available to help!