Nobody likes going to the dentist. That’s just common knowledge. It seems to be mostly because there is always an unknown factor – what are they going to find…and how many fillings am I going to need?
We don’t want visiting a hearing care provider to be like that, so we thought we’d fill you in on what to expect at the various types of appointments we offer.
Up first is the hearing assessment.
We recommend annual hearing assessments after your initial assessment (unless you notice drastic changes, in which case, come in immediately). That helps us monitor changes and adjust the plan to help you hear better as we go.
When you first arrive, we will go over your case history. This will involve a series of questions that help us understand what you might be struggling with, where things can be improved, and what your general health history is. It’s helpful if you bring a family member or close friend with you to help you answer these questions.
From there, we usually do a few tests. They don’t hurt, and they are non-invasive.
These are the typical tests you can expect. How many we do depends primarily on your level of hearing.
- Otoscopy is a simple visual examination of the outer ear canal or ear drum using a medical device called an otoscope.
- Tympanometry measures how well the eardrum is moving. This test helps detect fluid in the middle ear, a perforated eardrum, or wax blocking the ear canal.
- Audiometry consists of air conduction and bone conduction testing. It’s done in a soundproof room, where you will raise your hand or push a button when you hear sounds. Air conduction testing sends pure tones through every part of your ear to test your hearing across different frequencies. Bone conduction testing measures the sensitivity of your cochlea using a bone vibrator placed behind your ear.
- Speech recognition testing evaluates your ability to understand words and sentences spoken at a normal listening level. This helps determine the degree to which background noise interferes with your speech understanding, an important factor when considering your different treatment options.
At the end of this type of appointment, we will review your results and make a recommendation for treatment options that are best suited to you and your lifestyle.
If you decide to do hearing aids, we will discuss financing and make molds of your ears, if the type of hearing aid you choose requires them.
It’s a very laid-back situation and we do our best to make it as easy on you as possible.
The next type of appointment is all about the hearing aids. We demonstrate hearing aids, do fitting hearing aids, or doing routine checkups for your hearing aids.
With the different types of hearing aids, its a good idea to get a demonstration of each kind, hear the pros and cons of each, and then make a choice based on your hearing challenges and your lifestyle. An appointment dedicated to just this process is a really good idea, because it helps us focus just on that topic and not overwhelm you with other information.
Fitting your new hearing aids, or doing a routine checkup on your existing hearing aids falls into this type of appointment too – anything that has to do with hearing aids falls into this category.
Finally, we also do repairs and adjustments for your hearing aids.
These little devices can be fragile, and let’s be honest sometimes things don’t work the way they should. We can help. We’ve got the tools and the expertise to get them running again, whether they got wet, are clogged, or limited dexterity keeps you from doing something on your own – we can help.
The long and short stories are the same. Your hearing care provider wants nothing more than to help you hear better, and if you’ve been avoiding that initial appointment because appointments in general are not your favorite thing, we promise – this one will be easy-peasy.
We suggest having your hearing checked even before you think there might be damage. That gives you a baseline to go off of – if you visit again in a year and there is a drastic change, you will know that you have to do more to protect yourself.
Your hearing care professional can help you determine what’s best for you and your lifestyle.
Protect your hearing now, before it’s too late!
If you want to learn more, or have questions, just let us know. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us.
We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment.