Do you think you might have hearing loss? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, you don’t need to be alone when you take the next step and schedule a hearing test. There are many benefits to bringing a friend or family member along to your initial tests for hearing loss and subsequent follow-up visits to serve as a medical companion. Let’s take a look at what happens in a hearing test and how a familiar face of an appointment buddy can help.
Before your first audiology appointment, you may be asking yourself, “What does an audiology test consist of?” or “How long does a hearing test take?” Tests for hearing loss can be conducted by an audiologist, otolaryngologist or licensed hearing care specialist (such as those at Miracle-Ear). A first-time audiology appointment for a hearing test usually takes 60 to 90 minutes, which gives the provider ample time to guide you through each step of the appointment:
After your evaluation, the provider will show you the results of your test on an audiogram—a graph that visually represents the softest sounds you can hear at different volumes and frequencies. Each person’s hearing loss is unique; your provider will explain the degree and type of impairment you have (if any), and which sounds are most difficult for you to hear, based on the tests for hearing loss.
If your hearing test indicates you have a type of hearing loss that could be helped by wearing a hearing aid, the provider may have you try on a few different models towards the end of the audiology appointment. This allows you to experience firsthand how hearing aids could help.
This is another phase in the process during which an appointment buddy can be particularly useful. There's usually a lot of information about your hearing health to absorb. Your medical companion can help by absorbing details you may miss or even possibly take down notes.
Hearing loss doesn’t just impact the affected person; its effects ripple over to loved ones, too. Your friend or family member can offer the provider an outside perspective and perhaps relay subtle hearing loss symptoms or behaviors that you weren’t aware of , like turning the TV volume up.
Remember, knowledge is power—the more information you and your medical companion can provide, the better the hearing specialist can personalize care in regard to testing, diagnosis, results and recommendations.
The perks of bringing an appointment buddy aren’t limited to that first visit—their presence can be extremely valuable during the hearing aid selection, fitting and programming process, as well as routine follow-up visits.
Options abound when it comes to hearing aids today. Since your companion knows you so well, they can help pinpoint which hearing aid technologies or features would be most beneficial to you. Your appointment buddy’s voice can even be used with speech-mapping software to ensure your hearing aid is programmed to pick up important voices in your life.
There’s a lot of information to consume when it comes to hearing aid maintenance, care, and self-adjusting, too. Your medical companion can be there to take notes and ask questions that are relevant to your lifestyle and needs.