Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations
A hearing test, also known as a diagnostic hearing evaluation, is an assessment of your hearing that is performed by an Audiologist. A hearing test identifies 3 key things:
- Whether or not you have a hearing loss.
- The type of hearing loss that you have and what the cause might be.
- If you have a hearing loss, whether or not it can be managed with hearing aids or if you would benefit from further medical testing.
When you set up your appointment, our staff will mail or email you a few forms to complete. These forms will ask for your contact information, hearing and general medical history, and insurance information. You will also be asked to list your current medications as some medications can impact your hearing.
When you arrive to your appointment, you will be greeted by a member of our staff who will take a copy of your insurance card(s) and answer any initial questions you may have while the Audiologist you’re scheduled to see, Dr. Meenen or Dr. Owen, thoroughly reviews your completed forms before bringing you back to our testing room.
Once the appointment has started, your Audiologist will sit down with you before starting your test to get an in-depth understanding of your hearing challenges, your typical listening environments, and any other concerns you might have. She may also ask you about your medical history to ensure that you do not have any conditions that could inhibit testing, or factors that could contribute to your hearing loss. Once this is done, your Audiologist will take a look in your ears with an otoscope to ensure that there are no medical conditions obstructing your ear canals and that your eardrums are clear and healthy. Your Audiologist may also perform a painless test, called tympanometry, to measure the pressure and reflexes in your ears. This test ensures that the mechanical structures of your ears are working properly.
After looking in your ears and performing a tympanometry, the Audiologist will have then you enter our sound booth to conduct the rest of your hearing test. The sound booth is soundproof to ensure test accuracy which could be compromised by background noise. Your Audiologist will typically play 3 sets of sounds for you. First, you will be instructed to repeat a few words. The words may get softer and softer but you should repeat them to your best ability. Second, your Audiologist will instruct you to push a button or raise your hand when you hear a tone, even if it is very soft. Third, you will be instructed to repeat the last word of a sentence and to make your best guess even if you’re not quite sure.
Once each of these steps has been completed, your hearing test is done and your Audiologist will review your results with you.
Your Audiologist will record the results of your hearing test on a medical form called an audiogram. The audiogram illustrates how well you hear based on volume (recorded in decibels) and pitch (recorded in frequency). Using the audiogram, she will show you how loud she had to make the words or tones in order for you to hear them, and also the pitches that you seemed to have difficulty hearing. Based on this information, Dr. Marshall or Dr. Owen will be able to determine the degree and type of hearing loss that you have.
After your hearing test is complete, your Audiologist will review your results with you, including any recommendations based on your test results, and answer any questions you may have so that together you can start to take the necessary steps to improve your hearing. After your appointment, your Audiologist will write a report with her findings and our staff will send a copy to you and any other people you may have indicated, such as your primary care physician or ENT.
Hearing Loss Treatment & Solutions
Based on the results of your hearing test, Dr. Meenen or Dr. Owen may make several recommendations for treating your hearing loss, but it is up to you to make the final decision. No matter what you decide, you won’t have to do it alone. For the types of hearing loss that can’t be improved through medical or surgical treatment, hearing aids may be the best solution. At Northland Audiology & Hearing Services we believe in the importance of helping you understand your hearing loss and your treatment options so that you can make an informed decision on how you’d like to treat your hearing loss.
Working together, we can find the best solution that lets you reclaim your confidence and reconnect with life.
Northland Audiology is here to make this as easy as possible for you and to fully support you along your journey towards better, effortless hearing. Call us at 907-789-6780 to schedule your hearing test today!