Your First Visit with an Audiologist

What to Expect on a First Visit to an Audiologist:

The audiologist’s role is to assess and manage all aspects of an individual’s hearing. The assessment will begin with the audiologist or another staff member obtaining a thorough case history, including the reason for referral and any communication difficulties you are experiencing. In addition, the audiologist will likely assess the following:

– The status of your ear canal and eardrum by looking in with a special(magnifying) light

– The status of the eardrum and middle ear by placing a small, soft probe in the ear and having you sit still and quietly for a few moments while you experience some pressure and a series of loud beeps

– The lowest level of speech you can hear and repeat, and your ability to understand and repeat words at a comfortable and/or slightly louder level, by having you sit in a sound-treated booth wearing special headphones, (young children may be tested with speakers rather than headphones)

– The lowest level at which you can just barely hear sounds of various pitches in each ear. This is also done while wearing headphones in the sound booth. Typically, the individual is asked to raise their hand or press a button each time they hear a sound.

In addition, the audiologist may assess:  your inner ear function by placing a probe in your ear and having you listen to beeps for a short period of time; your ability to understand and repeat words or phrases in the presence of background noise; and possibly your ability to process the auditory information your brain receives.

Following the assessment, the audiologist will explain the assessment results to you and may recommend further testing (ex. auditory brainstem response testing, auditory processing assessment and/or regular monitoring of your hearing). The audiologist should explain why and how these tests are done before you leave the initial appointment. Depending on the results of the initial assessment, the audiologist may also recommend various rehabilitation options that would work within your budget and lifestyle needs (ex. hearing aids, communication strategies, amplified telephones, special fire alarms, and other assistive listening devices) that would be helpful to you.