Although it can seem a little scary, the truth is that a hearing test can greatly improve your quality of life, allow you to work longer, and give you the freedom and independence you enjoy for many more years to come. But tests aren’t very useful unless you understand the results—and now that you have scheduled your hearing exam, you should be prepared for what comes next.
What Happens After I Take a Hearing Test?
At Premier Hearing Center, we want patients to stay informed about their conditions every step of the way. In our offices, we start all of our new patients with a free hearing evaluation to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss. If the test shows that your hearing is normal or that you only have a slight hearing loss, we will simply schedule you for a follow-up exam to monitor the changes. If your results show a hearing loss, your hearing specialist will discuss the next steps for your treatment.
Follow-up care after a hearing test varies from patient to patient, but will usually include:
- Further evaluation. The first step after diagnosing hearing loss is to recommend or rule out medical treatment. Many medical conditions, injuries, and prescription drugs can cause hearing problems, so you may be referred to a doctor for further testing to diagnose and treat an underlying condition. Your condition could be caused by a chronic problem (such as high blood pressure) or a blockage in the ear canal (such as a benign tumor).
- Treatment options. After your hearing evaluation, your hearing care professional should sit down with you to discuss the results of your audiogram. Your audiogram is a graph that shows how well you are able to hear sounds at different volume levels and pitches. For example, some people hear well in silence, but cannot hear in noisy environments. Others cannot hear high-pitched sounds, such as a child’s voice or a cat’s meow. Every hearing loss is different, and it is important to understand where the difficulties in your hearing are in order to find the best solution.
- Device selection. If your condition can be corrected with a hearing aid, there are two major factors to consider when choosing a device. The first is determining which device is made to treat your condition. Some hearing aids are made for mild hearing loss, others can accommodate a significant hearing problem. The second factor is determining which device best suits your lifestyle. Your hearing care professional will ask you questions about your hobbies, daily life, and hearing goals before arranging for you to take a look at different hearing aid options. This hands-on approach allows you to choose from different styles and possibilities of hearing aids, giving you the best chance of meeting your listening needs.
- Hearing aid fitting. If you purchase a hearing aid, your hearing care professional will program your hearing aids to the specific hearing loss measured on your audiogram. He or she will also walk you through the different program settings and options so that you can hear best in a variety of environments, and review basic care and cleaning tips to keep your device working properly. After your hearing aid has been fitted, we will schedule another appointment in a few weeks to make any adjustments you may need.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Start Treatment!
Your hearing needs are constantly changing, and a test gives you the opportunity to know how well you hear at any given moment. Immediately after testing is the best time to start treatment for a hearing condition, because you will know exactly the type of correction you need. Think of your audiogram like you would a prescription for eyeglasses: the prescription you have now could make you see perfectly, but may not be effective in a few months.
Patients who wait months or even years after their first test to start hearing loss correction may be fitted with a device that is inadequate, uncomfortable, or no longer complements their daily lifestyle. This can cause patients to give up on hearing correction altogether, when what they really need is to be fitted by a knowledgeable hearing care professional. Our specialists can walk with you down the path to hearing recovery, explaining all of your options each step of the way. Call the number above or click the appointment button on this page today to get started!