Your First Hearing Test
Have you made an appointment for your first hearing test? Are you considering making one? A hearing test isn’t particularly tough or uncomfortable, but many feel uneasy about walking into an appointment if they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.
Being proactive in learning more about your hearing health and preserving it is essential, so we’re going to break down what you can expect when you go to your first hearing test with your ear, nose and throat doctor.
Providing the necessary information
Most healthcare appointments involve some form of information request. This is just as true for a hearing test. Not only with your ear, nose and throat doctor help you assess the health of your hearing, but they will also want to look for any factors in your history that may cause potential hearing issues. For that reason, it’s wise to ensure you can prepare as much of the information you need in advance as possible.
Preparing your insurance information is important, as your plans may cover not just the hearing test but also hearing aids. The clinic can also check your eligibility and coverage for any benefits you might be entitled to.
A medical history that is as comprehensive as possible can be important. This includes medications that you are currently taking or have recently been taking, whether they are over-the-counter, prescription or supplements that you have purchased. Issues such as hypertension can be related to hearing loss, as can many medications and treatments such as chemotherapy. The more complete a picture of your medical history that your ear, nose and throat doctor has, the better.
Of course, don’t forget to make note of any ear-related symptoms, current hearing concerns and history of ear concerns. This includes not just your current concerns, but also past issues. For instance, ear injuries or experiences of ringing in your ears can all be valuable information.
The visual examination
To begin with, the ear, nose and throat doctor will take a closer look at the ears. This includes not just an inspection of the outer ear, but a deeper look with a handheld device known as an otoscope. This helps them identify some potential causes of hearing issues, such as ear infections and wax build ups. If there is a buildup of wax, they may also remove it at this stage to see if that offers any improvement.
The hearing tests
Following the visual examination, the main test begins. There are multiple kinds of hearing tests and which ones your ear, nose and throat doctor performs will likely depend on the information they found earlier in the process.
The most common tests are designed to discover your current range of hearing. A tone test, for instance, will involve you wearing headphones in a soundproofed room. The ear, nose and throat doctor will play a range of noises of different pitches and volumes to identify which you are and aren’t able to hear. The speech test is similar, carried out in the same environment. This time, however, the doctor will ask you to repeat the words you hear. You will likely hear speech at different volumes, in different tones and sometimes with background noise.
A pressure test, also known as tympanometry, may also be carried out if the ear, nose and throat doctor thinks it is necessary. This involves inserting a probe with a rubber tip in the ear. The probe will change the air pressure in the ear canal, which can cause some discomfort. The device will emit some noises, while the doctor measures the movement of the eardrums in different levels of air pressure.
Following the changes, your ear, nose and throat doctor will take the time to look over the results with you and explain what they have found. For tone and speech tests, this may involve an audiogram, which is a form that shows your full range of hearing. It may also involve looking at the results of the pressure test.
If the tests highlight any form of hearing loss or other hearing issues, then your doctor will most likely begin to recommend treatment options, such as hearing aids and information on how to protect your hearing.
Book your hearing test today at Baton Rouge Ear, Nose & Throat Associates
If you haven’t already made an appointment for a hearing test today, then Baton Rouge Ear, Nose & Throat Associates will be more than happy to help. We offer a wide range of audiology services, including not just hearing tests, but also hearing aid evaluation, fitting and repair, so we can help you in every step of your hearing health journey. Call us at (225) 769-2222.