Given how common hearing loss is, many people will need to visit an audiologist at some point over the course of their life. Of course, as with visiting any medical specialist, a trip to the audiologist's clinic can be daunting when you're going for the first time. That said, there's no need to worry; your audiologist is here to help you with any concerns and questions you may have. Whether you're looking to ease your anxieties or you just want to be prepared, here are four things you should expect at your audiologist appointment.
1. A lot of questions
In order to treat you best, your audiologist will want to get a good understanding of your daily life. As such, they may ask you a lot of questions about your life, including where you work, what you do for fun, and how much time you devote to activities that require a clear hearing. It is likely that your audiologist will ask you questions regarding your family history and upbringing in an attempt to determine any hereditary conditions. They may also ask you about past or present illnesses that could have affected your hearing. While these questions may seem plentiful, they're all necessary to build the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. You should answer the questions as honestly as possible, but if you do feel uncomfortable divulging any information, don't be afraid to tell the audiologist why.
2. An otoscopy examination
Your audiologist will also likely perform one or more examinations at your appointments. While they may sound daunting, they're nothing to worry about when you know what's coming. One such examination is an otoscopy, which involves inserting a medical device called an otoscope into your ear canal to look at various parts of the ear up close. This can help determine if there are any problems with your eardrums, fluid buildup, and more.
3. A tympanometry examination
During a tympanometry examination, your audiologist will insert a medical device into your ear that connects to a machine that measures middle-ear function using various air pressure levels. This test is usually used to detect infections, fluid build-up, eardrum perforations, or dysfunctions with various parts of the ear.
4. An audiometry test
An audiometry examination measures the quality of your hearing, from the volume you hear to the tones you can detect. During this test, you'll hear a variety of sounds through headphones, and your audiologist will ask you to repeat the words or raise your hand when you can hear them. Sometimes, they'll also use a tuning fork to measure vibrations behind your ear.