Hearing assessment appointments can vary significantly between providers. For example, some clinics charge for assessments whereas others are free. A free one doesn’t always mean that you will end up with a worse assessment. It’s often used a strategy to entice you into the clinic.

lIt is always a good idea to check with your clinic what they plan on doing before you attend. To help you prepare, we have outlined when you should go and get your hearing tested and also what to expect from a typical diagnostic hearing test.

Do you need a hearing test?

  • Do you feel you have hearing issues?
  • Do you have problems understanding conversations one on one?
  • In conversations, do people seem to mumble?
  • Do you have problems hearing high pitched sounds like birds singing?
  • Do you have trouble understanding people in noisy environments?

If any of the above questions apply to you, you will need a hearing test. Sometimes we don’t notice hearing loss until it starts to affect our quality of life.

The sooner you notice changes in your hearing the sooner you can take steps to manage it. If you are concerned about your hearing health, you can schedule an appointment today.

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Diagnostic hearing test

A hearing test is more than just measuring the level of sound your ears can detect. It’s about asking the right questions and actively listening to you and making sense of the information you provide to build up a hearing profile.

During your assessment you can expect the following to happen:

Introduction and discussion – This is the most important part of the appointment. It gives the audiologist the opportunity to understand what makes you tick. Hearing difficulties are very personal and vary greatly from person to person. The information you disclose helps to construct your individual management plan which helps the audiologist to achieve your hearing goals.

Video Otoscopy – using video otoscopy an audiologist can guide you on a journey through your ears. As they explore and examine the anatomy of your outer ear and ear drum they can guide you through what they are seeing live. The audiologist can record and take photos which should be stored on a secure patient management system as part of your ongoing care.

Audiometry – Audiometry should ideally be conducted in a sound isolation booth or controlled environment. Always check that your audiologist has a booth as it is a good indication of how equipped their clinic is. Audiometry uses a series of beeps and whistles to determine your hearing levels. Audiometry forms an important part of the assessment but on it’s own the information it provides is limited. It doesn’t give the whole picture, like how well you hear when there is background noise.

Testing speech in noise – This involves testing your ability to ignore background noise in order to focus on a particular voice. The results of this test significantly varies between individuals and is critical for getting a better understanding of your hearing profile.

Summary and debrief of results – The summary and debrief can take time and it is important that your audiologist explains the results in a relatable and simple manner. Technical terms such as ‘speech banana’ are often used which can be quite confusing. If you are struggling to follow what the audiologist is saying don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important you understand the results so you can choose the best course of action next.

Report & Follow up – You should be given a full written report of the hearing assessment results and recommendations. This will summarise the recommendations provided for future reference. It’s often wise to take time to reflect on the appointment before ordering a hearing aid. The audiologist will understand and will likely book in a follow up to discuss the plan of action.

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