People are often hesitant to book a hearing test – putting it off for years before finally letting a medical professional diagnose them.
This can be detrimental to their hearing. Without effective treatment, a condition may worsen over time, impacting their health in a number of different ways.
Part of the reason why patients delay their initial visit is they’re unsure of what happens at a hearing evaluation.
At Holland Hearing, we make every effort to make sure each patient receives an excellent experience when they come for an appointment.
This is how we take care of you through every step of this potentially life-changing process.
A warm introduction
At Holland Hearing, we place a firm emphasis on getting to know someone’s hearing concerns before we begin assessing their ability to interpret sounds.
Often, these conversations reveal clues about a person’s condition. They might tell us about their trouble hearing sounds in loud, echoey environments, for example, narrowing the list of possible issues.
It’s also a useful opportunity to discuss someone’s family medical history. Hearing loss can be genetic, and if a relative has suffered from hearing loss, their condition can be passed from generation to generation.
Once we’ve really got to know a person and received all this contextual information, we can then begin a full examination of their hearing system.
This begins with a thorough check of someone’s ear to visually understand if their auditory system is working correctly.
We’ll initially look for any obstructions such as wax build-up or the presence of a foreign object. Though it sounds obvious, this can sometimes be the main cause of a hearing loss issue.
Following this, we take a detailed look at the patient’s middle and inner ear.
This will show whether there’s any damage to their auditory nerve endings or eardrum, which can point to a permanent hearing loss condition.
We’ll also look for signs of an infection such as fluid build-up or inflammation. These might later require a patient to be referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
The hearing tests
The final stage of a hearing evaluation is a set of tests to understand someone’s hearing capacity.
For this, we’ll bring them into our sound booth where they’ll put on a pair of headphones. We’ll then guide them through a series of listening exercises.
We’ll examine how well they can hear sounds at different pitches and volume levels, known as pure tone audiometry. They’ll simply need to respond to us if they hear something played to them.
We’ll also find out how well they can interpret different types of voices, known as speech audiometry. This will give us an indication of how their hearing loss is impacting their capacity to communicate with others.
Occasionally, we’ll add one further test – tympanometry – which will let us understand how someone is reacting to different acoustic frequencies.
Once we’ve completed the process in full, we’ll then bring the patient back to the office to discuss the results.
If they require a course of treatment, such as hearing aids, we can advise them of the options immediately.
For others who might require a referral to a medical doctor, we can make arrangements that ensure you’ll get the best possible care going forward.
Once you leave Holland Hearing, each person will have a complete understanding of their condition and how to address it going forward.