Have you noticed that you keep nudging the volume up on the TV or the radio? Are you finding it increasingly tough to follow conversations? Do you feel like you’re asking colleagues or friends to repeat themselves regularly? If you’re worried about your hearing, it’s wise to get checked out as soon as possible. Many of us wait until there’s a major difference in our hearing to seek advice, but early intervention is usually the best course of action. If you’ve made the call, and you’re preparing for a hearing test, here are some tips to ensure you’re ready for your appointment and that you feel completely relaxed.

Preparing for your first hearing test

If you have a date scheduled for your first hearing test, you may be experiencing a range of emotions. You might be excited or relieved that the test will provide answers and help to improve your hearing, but you might also be nervous and a little anxious. It’s perfectly understandable to have reservations but try not to panic. Hearing tests are nothing to worry about, and your audiologist will explain exactly what is going to happen before they start the assessment. If you do have questions in the run-up to your appointment, note them down on a piece of paper or make a note on your phone, so that you don’t forget when you get to your appointment.

What happens when you have a hearing test?

On the day of your appointment, you will be welcomed and made to feel comfortable before you meet with your audiologist. Before the hearing tests begin, your audiologist will take a bit of time to ask you about your general health and your medical history before focusing on your hearing. They will ask you questions about specific problems you’re having and make sure they’re aware of family history of hearing issues or any injuries or medical problems that could have a bearing on your hearing. Your audiologist will talk you through the tests they plan to carry out, and make sure that you’re relaxed and you have all the information you need before beginning the evaluation.

There are various types of hearing tests that can be used to determine the extent of hearing loss and find out more about the sounds, pitches and noises you can and can’t hear. Hearing tests are not designed to catch you out in any way, and all you have to do is relax, and then respond when you hear a noise.

Types of hearing tests

There are several different types of hearing tests. The most common examples include:

  • Diagnostic audiologic evaluation: this is a comprehensive test that is designed to monitor responses to different frequencies. Starting at a frequency of 250 hertz, your audiologist will adjust the frequency to see how you react to different tones and noise intensity.
  • Speech reception threshold: this evaluation measures how well you can hear and repeat words. It is often used to verify the results of the diagnostic audiologic evaluation.
  • Tympanometry: this test involves increasing air pressure in the ears to assess the eardrums, the middle ear and the eustachian tube.
  • Acoustic reflex thresholds: this analyzes the response of the stapedius muscle to loud noises.

What happens after a hearing test?

After your hearing tests, your audiologist will evaluate the results and discuss the findings with you. The results are often displayed using graphs. Your audiologist will explain what the test results mean, and make sure that you have a clear understanding of the nature and degree of hearing loss. You will be able to ask as many questions as you like. The findings of the evaluation will be used to diagnose or rule out any underlying causes, and to determine the best treatment options.

In many cases, hearing loss can be treated using hearing aids, devices, which are used to amplify sounds. If you are advised to consider hearing aids, your audiologist can provide you with all the information you need to understand how hearing aids work, what kinds of options are available, and how wearing a hearing aid could benefit you going forward. You can take as much time as you like to decide your next step. If you do want to take a closer look at hearing aids and find out more, we can arrange a follow-up appointment.

If you’re having your first hearing test, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Your audiologist will be on hand to reassure and guide you through the process. If you have any questions or concerns, or you’d like to find out more about the services we offer at Salyer Hearing Center, don’t hesitate to contact us at one of our offices by calling, Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599 or Murphy: 828-835-1014.