Rest assured that a hearing assessment is noninvasive and nothing to be anxious about

What Happens at a Hearing Assessment?

by | Dec 11, 2022 | Patient Resources

Denton Hearing Health Care has been evaluating the hearing of the people of Denton for many years, and it is our privilege to test yours and help you begin your journey of excellent hearing healthcare.

It can be normal to wonder what’s involved when you come for testing – will it take long and will it hurt being the two top questions. Rest assured that this evaluation is noninvasive nothing to be anxious about.

The Denton Hearing team knows that the more information you have up front, the more assured you will be during the hearing assessment, so with that in mind, we have put together an outline of what to expect when you come in.

What to Expect at a Hearing Assessment

A hearing assessment is an important step in understanding how well you can hear. There isn’t anything you need to do to prepare, although we recommend not drinking caffeine that morning – caffeine stimulates the body and can increase blood flow to the ears, which may cause a temporary improvement in hearing thresholds.

We also recommend bringing a loved one as once you are back home, they will often remember more details of what was said during the appointment.

A greeting

First, we’ll offer you a friendly greeting as soon as you walk in the door. We’ll do our best to not keep you waiting too long before we begin the assessment in one of our examination rooms.

Medical information

Your audiologist will look at your medical and hearing history and discuss any symptoms you may have related to hearing loss. We will also ask about any medications you currently take and about how your hearing seems on a day-to-day basis.

We understand that you will have probably entered all of this information in your initial paperwork, but this helps us to get to know you and your hearing story better.

Having a loved one with you can be a great help as they often remember medical details you might not think to mention.

Physical examination

We will look in your ear with an otoscope to see if there’s any obstruction that might be causing your hearing loss, such as a cyst or a buildup of earwax. This is not painful, but it might tickle a little!

Sound booth

Then we will perform a series of tests to measure the extent of your hearing ability.

The most common type of test used during a hearing assessment is an audiogram.

An audiogram is a test used to measure how well you can hear different sounds in each ear. It typically consists of two parts: air conduction and bone conduction.

During the air conduction part of the test, headphones are used to present tones at different frequencies and volumes through both ears. You will be asked to indicate when you can hear the sound.

In the bone conduction part of the test, a plastic device will be placed on your mastoid bone behind each ear and used to deliver tones at different frequencies and volumes. Again, you will need to indicate when you can hear the sound.

The results of this test are plotted on a graph called an audiogram which will show your hearing thresholds at different frequencies. An audiogram can help identify the type and degree of hearing loss you may have.

Your audiologist may also use a tympanometry test to measure how well your middle ear is functioning.

Tympanometry is a test used to measure the movement of your eardrum and the functioning of your middle ear.

During this test, a small amount of air pressure is sent into your ear canal using a device called a tympanometer. It will feel like a tiny puff in your ear canal. The tympanometer then measures the movements of your eardrum in response to the change in pressure.

A tympanometry test is often used to diagnose conditions such as fluid buildup in the ear, an abnormal eardrum shape or size, and middle ear infections. It can also be used to determine the type of hearing loss you have.

This test is quick and painless.

Other tests used during a hearing assessment include word recognition tests, speech in noise tests, and tests to determine the type of hearing loss you may have.

A word recognition test is a type of hearing assessment used to measure speech understanding. During this test, the audiologist will present lists of words to you through headphones or loudspeakers. You will then be asked to repeat the words that you hear back to the audiologist.

The results of this test are used to assess how well you can understand speech, and it also identifies different types of hearing loss. Word recognition tests may also include sentences instead of just single words in order to give a more accurate assessment.

Results of a Hearing Assessment

At the end of your hearing assessment, we will discuss our findings with you to give you a better understanding of your hearing health and what measures can be taken to help improve it.

This is a great opportunity to address any concerns or symptoms you may have experienced leading up to the assessment.

Discussion about Your Next Steps

If you need hearing treatment, we will talk with you about all your options and recommend one or two that fit best with your lifestyle, hearing needs, circumstances, and budget. Our goal is to help you find the best hearing treatment for you.

Once you choose your preferred treatment, we are here for your fitting, programing, and ongoing support and service.

We can also provide advice on communication strategies that can help you make the most of your hearing ability, and if you have no hearing loss, we can discuss ways to prevent any future hearing damage.

Call us with any questions about your upcoming hearing assessment or hearing needs. We are always happy to help.

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Dr. Katie L. Kufeldt, Audiologist

Dr. Kufeldt received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences as well as her Doctorate of Audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology, Texas Academy of Audiology and is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. She is licensed by the State of Texas to practice audiology and fit and dispense hearing aids.

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