Admitting you may have hearing loss can be very overwhelming and scary, but seeking out the help of an audiologist when it comes to treatment can be nerve-wracking if you’re not sure what to expect. Not knowing what they are looking for, what they are going to ask or even how you should answer their questions can make anyone stress before the appointment.

Luckily, your audiologist will be patient and will go through everything with you to ensure you understand what they are looking for and what they need from you. But what can you really expect during that first appointment?

  • Discussion: During your first appointment with an audiologist you will discuss your background, medical history and hearing loss symptoms. You may answer questions regarding when you’re struggling most, what environments or what situations are most difficult for you to hear in.  
  • Checking your ears: Next the audiologist will take a look in your ears to ensure they are clean, healthy and have no excessive wax buildup or impaction. They will also check the health of your eardrum, and will make sure there are no visible problems with it.
  • Hearing testing: Once you’ve talked with your audiologist and they’ve examined your ears, you’ll have a hearing test. The hearing test is usually done in a soundproof room and is simple and painless. Your audiologist may perform a variety of hearing tests, including: air conduction, bone conduction and speech tests. Each of these will help tell the audiologist what type of hearing loss is present, as well as the severity. Your audiologist may also perform a tympanometry test, which tests the reflex of the eardrum.
  • Results: Once the testing is complete you and your audiologist will go over your test results together. Your audiologist will likely show you an audiogram, which is basically a visual explanation of your hearing loss. They will go over with you the possible causes of your hearing loss, the severity and what treatment options are available.
  • Recommendations: Finally, you and your audiologist will go over their recommendations. The good news is many people with hearing loss benefit from hearing aids. Your audiologist will speak with you about the different styles, options and features available to you and which device you may benefit from most.

While some first appointments may not include all of these steps, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a complete workup. Depending on what your audiologist accomplishes during the first appointment, it may take anywhere from two to three hours to complete. If you’re concerned with how long the appointment might take or have any other questions about what might happen during it, don’t hesitate to call your audiologist and discuss these concerns with them.