After deciding to seek help from a hearing professional, you may be curious or even worried about what will occur during your first hearing clinic appointment. If your hearing level has only slightly decreased or if most of the hearing ability has been lost, seeking help from a professional can change your daily life and help improve the way you communicate.
This article will highlight a few things that you can do before your first visit to prepare for your appointment and what you can expect to happen during your first appointment.
1. Reflect on your current level of hearing
If you have made the decision to seek professional help from an audiologist, you probably have already completed some form of self-reflection regarding your level of hearing. By realizing what your current level is, you will be able to have a more informed conversation with your audiologist during the appointment. Try to take note of the changes in sounds and the volume level at which you can hear.
2. Identify your communication struggles
Many people first identify a decline in their hearing through a development of communication problems. In order to prepare for your first appointment, take notes over the prior weeks to determine areas of weakness in your communication. Mention what areas of the conversation are difficult to understand, what forms of communication you have troubles with, and when your conversation abilities began to decrease.
3. Create a timeline of hearing loss
Upon realizing that it is time to seek professional help for your hearing, try to recall when your level of hearing began to decline. Presenting an estimated timeline to your audiologist can greatly assist the assessment that will occur during your first visit. Try to recall the first time you felt that your hearing was declining and the events that followed.
4. Fill in medical forms
As with most medical appointments, the first thing that you will be asked to do during your initial visit is fill in all required medical forms. It is very important that the audiologist has a thorough understanding of your medical history. With this information, they can structure a plan that is best for you and your health. By using the above tips, such as creating a timeline and highlighting difficulties, you will be able to provide further information to the audiologist which will assist them in creating a plan or program that is tailored to you.
5. Test your level of hearing
The hearing test comes in two parts, first, the physical aspects of your ears will be inspected then the hearing itself will be tested. The ears are initially inspected for any abnormalities or deformities that may be the cause of the hearing problems. After this physical test, the hearing test is completed in three stages. A pressure, tone, and speech test will be conducted to test how you react to different sounds and level of noises. The speech test will also determine how your hearing affects your ability to communicate. You will be asked to say a variety of words in order to determine your current hearing ability.
6. Discuss results and next steps
The last step that occurs during your initial appointment at the hearing clinic is to discuss the results of the tests and determine the next steps. During this section of the appointment, you are encouraged to ask questions so that you can gain clarity on what your level of hearing is and what can be done to improve your daily life.