Hearing Aid Evaluation
If you suspect that you might need hearing aids, you will first need a hearing evaluation. A complete hearing history will be taken, and questions will be asked about when and how the hearing loss started, if there is a family tendency for hearing loss, if there is pressure or ringing (tinnitus) in your ears, or if you experience dizziness. You may also have to provide some basic questions about your general health including medications.
We will also take an inventory of the demands you put on your hearing. A person who conducts business at noisy restaurants has different listening requirements than a person with a very quiet lifestyle. The results from your hearing test will provide the audiologist with data about your hearing acuity, but your answers about your daily life and hearing priorities provide the basis for a comprehensive evaluation.
You may be referred to a medical doctor specializing in disorders of the ear if there are other ear-related medical conditions your audiologist thinks should be addressed before hearing aids are recommended.
If your hearing test reveals a permanent hearing loss that may not be resolved medically, a hearing aid may be recommended for one or both ears. Your audiologist will help you understand your test results and explain what hearing aids can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In some cases, you may even be able to listen to hearing aids. Your audiologist will describe the differences among hearing aids and help you choose the best style, features and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle and budget. The final decision on which hearing aids is purchased is your choice.
Once you make a decision, the audiologist may take impressions of your ears if you are getting custom in-the-ear hearing aids or behind-the-ear hearing aids that require earmolds. Hearing aids must usually be ordered from a manufacturer and then programmed by your audiologist to meet your specific hearing needs. We may have your hearing aid in 24 hours or in several days if custom devices are required. So, please do not be disappointed if you don’t take hearing aids home on the same day as your evaluation.