When you arrive for your first appointment, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork regarding your medical history and hearing. We will discuss the nature of your hearing difficulties and the impact they have on your daily activities. As an example, many people with hearing loss have trouble hearing at concerts, restaurants, family gatherings, or specific voices, such as those of their grandchildren. In some cases, hearing loss may also have a direct impact on social situations or work environments.
You will be encouraged to bring along a family member or friend to your appointment as an "extra set of ears" who may think of additional questions that might not occur to you during your visit. A Sounds for Life audiologist will review your history with you and may ask additional questions in order to get a full understanding of your own unique hearing needs.
Next, we will perform an exam of both of your ears with an otoscope to determine that they are free of wax or other foreign objects. In some cases the ear canal may be blocked to the extent that wax removal must be performed before we proceed with any testing. Once we determine the ears are free of wax, we will test your middle ear function. This is done with a piece of equipment known as a tympanometer. The tympanometer is utilized to rule out any abnormalities with the middle ear area, such as the presence of fluid. We will also use this equipment to measure your acoustic reflex thresholds to further assess the function of your inner ears and beyond.
Pitch & Loudness Test
Next, we’ll ask you to wear headphones while the audiologist goes to a separate room. You will see each other through a window and be able to communicate as she asks you to repeat what you hear via the headphones. You’ll be asked to repeat simple, two-syllable words that become lower/quieter as the test proceeds. Then, you will be asked to listen to a series of “beeps”, and indicate every time you hear the sound, even if it becomes very low/quiet. This test is performed for each ear with 6-10 varying frequencies or pitches being tested.