The first step in understanding your hearing loss and possible solution, is to receive a thorough hearing exam conducted by a licensed Audiologist. This can be a worrisome time for you and your loved ones and may questions can arise:
- Why do I need a Hearing and Audiologic Evaluation?
- What can I expect at a Hearing and Audiologic Evaluation?
- What types of tests will be conducted?
- What happens after the test?
Why do I need a Hearing and Audiologic Evaluation?
- This evaluation may be recommended for individuals who did not pass an initial hearing screening, and that hearing loss needs to be ruled out or further examined.
- The evaluation will detail the type and severity of the hearing loss, and it may also provide insight to the cause of the hearing loss.
What can I expect at a Hearing and Audiologic Evaluation?
- The evaluation will probably last about 30 to 40 minutes. You should also allow for time to review test results, and ask questions. If the determination is made that you need hearing aids, allow for sufficient time to discuss your options.
- It is recommended that you bring a family member with you to the evaluation appointment. Most audiologist agree that hearing loss is a family issue. It helps to have another supportive person at the appointment to help you understand the information and recommendations.
- Before your appointment, a complete history will be taken, and questions will be asked about when and how the hearing loss started, if there is ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and if you experience dizziness. You may also have to answer some basic questions about your general health history.
- We will also take a case history to determine how much your hearing problem impacts your day-to-day life as well as the lives of your family.
What type of tests will be conducted?
- The specific tests done during the evaluation will depend on the patient’s age, and what is known already about their hearing status. These tests vary with the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and the conditions of the ear canal and middle ear. These tests also determine if the hearing loss is conductive (middle or outer ear problem) or sensorineural (inner ear problem or central processing difficulty of the brain).
- A diagnostic audiologic evaluation includes the following types of tests:
- Pure-tone air conduction testing determines the quietest tones that a person can hear at different frequencies, both low and high.
- Bone-conduction testing is similar to pure-tone air conduction testing. A different type of headphone is used during bone conduction testing, and the results help the specialist determine if the hearing loss is originating from the outer/middle ear or from the inner ear.
- A speech reception threshold (SRT) test is often used with older children and adults to confirm the results of a pure-tone test. This test determines the lowest level at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli.
- We may also perform otoscopy (examining the ear canal) and tympanometry (test of the middle ear) to determine the health of the ear canal and the middle ear.
What happens after the test?
- If there are other medical conditions your hearing professional thinks should be addressed before hearing aids are recommended you will be referred to a medical doctor specializing in disorders of the ear.
- If your hearing test reveals permanent hearing loss, you may be a candidate for hearing aids. Your Sonus Health Care Professional will then explain what sounds you are not hearing, and what hearing aids can do to help.
- You may get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids at this appointment to understand your options.
- You can work with your Sonus Hearing Care Professional to choose the best hearing aid style, features and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, and financial circumstances.
- A diagnostic Hearing and Audiologic Evaluation is covered by most health insurance policies, though you may need a referral from your primary care physician to qualify for coverage. When you call our offices to schedule an appointment, we can collect your insurance information and determine what services are covered by your plan, and what steps are necessary for full coverage.