What happens at a hearing assessment appointment?
Case history and personal information
To start, a collection of your basic personal information will be required for registration. All your information will be secured and not shared. There is a short yes or no questionnaire about your health and hearing concerns.
Discussion of ear concerns and hearing issues
After registration there is a 5-7 min self administer computerized cognitive screening. We will evaluate 3 cognitive domains: memory, visuospatial, executive function., Jill will discuss all your concerns and answer any questions pertaining to the hearing appointment.
Jill will check your ear canal for redness, dryness and wax blockages. She will be looking for a clear view to your eardrum (tympanic membrane)
Wax removal (if needed)
There is a charge for wax removal. Some individuals prefer to have a family physician to remove the ear wax, that is okay – we may need to rebook your hearing test appointment if there is a blockage in the ear canal. Before the hearing test is performed, a clean, clear view of your eardrum is needed before proceeding with the test.
This test will involve a handheld piece of equipment. A tip will be inserted into the outer part of your ear canal. You may hear some humming and feel a slight pressure change, shortly after some loud beeps. It is over within a few seconds. This test will help to investigate any middle ear issues.
Hearing test in sound-proof room
Headphones or earplugs (with holes) will be used to cover your ear canals and you will be given a response button. Jill will test for your most comfortable levels of speech, your lowest thresholds of hearing (when you hear a beep you push the button), your word understanding and how well you hear in noise. This comprehensive test will determine the type of hearing loss you have. * Please let us know if you have claustrophobia.
Hearing test results, explanations and recommendations
At this point a discussion about your level of hearing, type of hearing loss, any concerns about the hearing loss will be explained. Jill will go over any recommendations, whether it is amplification, referral to ENT or retest yearly to monitor the current hearing loss.
Hearing aid evaluation (styles, lifestyle, cost)
Sometimes regardless of the recommendation, a discussion about hearing aids is important so you are further informed for future appointments and decisions. A conversation about the styles of hearing aids (inside-the-ear or behind-the-ear hearing aids) is important. The style will depend on the hearing loss, any eyesight issues, dexterity issues, and sometimes personal preference. Next, a discussion the level of technology. Basic level technology in hearing aids are meant for people that not around a lot of noise or social events. Premium hearing aids are better for social people that are in a lot of social background noise situations. You also have to look at the financial obligation of hearing aids. If and when you are ready to proceed with committing to hearing aids, we need to pick the best hearing aids for you.
End of appointment
Results are faxed to your family physician (if you choose) and our office will call you in one year to monitor your hearing loss.
About Hearing Tests
What is a hearing test: A hearing test is to determine the sensitivity of a person's hearing. We want to know the lowest possible level of your hearing in decibels at different frequencies.
What is a decibel: A relative unit of measurement. Normal conversation is 50-60 decibels. Full size vacuum cleaner is 80-90 decibels. Rustling leaves is 20-30 decibels.
What is a frequency: A frequency is expressed in Hertz (Hz). It is the tone we will test at. We usually test from 250 Hz to 8000 Hz during a hearing test.
A hearing test is a battery of tests that, together, make the picture of an audiogram. There is tone testing and speech testing. Speech testing is very important to determine if you recognize the speech you hear properly. Tone testing is the baseline test of the lowest beep/threshold you can hear.
Diagnostic audiology evaluations
Anyone who does not pass the screening will need a full diagnostic evaluation. This will include medical history, degree of hearing loss, how much hearing loss a person has and what type of loss a person has. Then we can make an appropriate treatment recommendation or referral for more investigation by Otolaryngologist (Ears, Nose, Throat Specialist)