When you go to the doctor, it’s easy to know what to expect because you’ve likely been there many times previously, but being seen by an audiologist is different – you might not have had a hearing test before, and this may be your first visit to Upstate Hearing Aids Center’s clinic.
To set your mind at ease, I’ll explain the process of having a hearing assessment from start to finish. Knowledge is power, and we want you to feel confident in your choice of hearing center the moment you walk through our door.
It can be helpful to bring a friend or loved one with you to this appointment, as they might remember a helpful piece of information you’ve forgotten when we’re asking about your medical history. They might also remember parts of our conversation you can’t recall once the test is over and you are back home.
Let’s begin from where you’ve checked in with our friendly receptionist and we’ve seated you in one of our consultation rooms.
1. Some Questions
Because your hearing is controlled by the auditory system, our first step in your hearing evaluation is to see how your brain health and hearing health have been up till now.
We’ll ask you about your medical history, family history, any medications you’re taking, your exposure to loud noise over the years, and anything you’ve noticed about your hearing. This helps us see if anything might have contributed to the recent changes in your hearing.
Be sure to tell us if you’ve noticed any balance issues, ringing in your ears, or a clogged-up feeling in your ears too.
2. A Physical Exam of Your Ear Canal
No hearing test is done well without this part because sometimes a hearing loss is caused by something very simple, such as a buildup of earwax or a cyst in your ear canal.
We can clean out earwax in office, and we are part of an incredible network of hearing and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) professionals who we can refer you to if we find anything we can’t take care of.
3. A Hearing Test
We’ll invite you to step in our sound-insulated booth and we’ll place headphones over your ears so we can deliver various sounds to them.
Sounds, tones, and volume – These might be:
- Spoken words
- Certain tones
- Words and tones at different volumes
The goal of this is to find out how much you can hear and understand.
Bone conduction test – We’ll also do a bone conduction test to see how the bones in your inner ear conduct sound when we bypass the ear canal and eardrum. We do this by placing an electromechanical earphone behind your ear to deliver sound vibrations.
This will tell us if your hearing challenge is caused by a problem in the outer or inner ear.
Tympanometry test – We puff a tiny bit of pressurized air toward your eardrum to see how it responds.
We might do one or two additional tests to make sure your cochlea and auditory nerves are healthy.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test – We place a small speaker-microphone in your ear canal and deliver sounds, clicks, and distorted sounds to see how your eardrum and cochlea respond.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test – We place an electrode on your forehead to measure your brain’s responses to different frequencies.
4. We Review Your Hearing Test Results with You
Because we are able to collect the data from each test digitally, we can share the results with you immediately after the hearing tests. Understanding is key to decision making, so we will explain the result of each aspect of the test and what we recommend as your next steps.
If we find that you have normal hearing, we’ll recommend ways to keep it that way with good hearing protection, a healthy lifestyle, and regular hearing checks. If we think hearing treatment is needed, we’ll go over all your options with you.
I Want to Book a Hearing Test near Me
If you suspect you or a loved one has a hearing loss because you have trouble hearing in one or both ears, book a hearing test with Upstate Hearing in Greenville, South Carolina. We do full diagnostic hearing assessments and will help you maximize your hearing abilities to enjoy life once again.
Feel free to call us at (864) 999-0261 with any questions too!