Many people have never been to an audiology appointment and do not know what happens in an audiology appointment. They will not know what to expect and it might be a daunting experience. This article will inform you of what happens in an audiology appointment and show you that there is nothing to worry about.
Once we receive a referral from your GP requesting that we see you in the audiology clinic, we will contact you to arrange a hearing assessment appointment at a time and location to suit you. We will ask you to ensure that your ears are clear of wax prior to attending the appointment (please ask your GP surgery if you are unsure about this). Your appointment will last between 45 minutes to an hour.
We will begin the hearing assessment by completing a medical history and asking you lots of questions about your ears and hearing. We will also discuss the current difficulties that you are having and ask you about specific situations where you have noticed you are not hearing so well. (NB: these questions may be asked over the phone before your hearing assessment appointment if appropriate).
Once we have gathered this information, we will examine your ears. We will be looking to assess the current health of them and check that they are not blocked with wax.
Next, we will complete the hearing test which will involve us playing lots of different beeps and tones through some headphones placed over your ears. We will give you a button to press every time you hear a sound. The sounds you hear will vary in volume and pitch, and the test allows us to measure the quietest sounds that you can hear. We may also use a different headphone which is placed behind one of your ears to allow us to measure the response of your inner ear directly.
If the audiologist feels it is necessary, we may also run a further test to measure the pressure behind your eardrum and tell us how well your eardrums are moving. This test can provide us with additional information about what might be causing your hearing difficulties. Some patients may also require further, more specialist testing, such as testing using speech sounds or measurement of your speech discrimination abilities. Your audiologist will let you know if they feel these tests are needed.
Once the testing is complete, we will explain the results to you. If the results show that you have a hearing loss, we will discuss your options going forward which may include hearing aids. We will discuss the benefits that you are likely to get from hearing aids, as well as the limitations. The NHS hearing aid options that are suitable for your hearing loss will be shown to you. You can then decide if you would like to try one or two hearing aids or if you would prefer not to try hearing aids at the present time. If earmoulds are needed, we will take impressions of your ears which are sent away to make the moulds.
If you have agreed to try some hearing aids, we will set them up for your individual ears based on your recent hearing test. Due to the current pandemic, in order to reduce the number of face-to-face appointments required in our NHS clinics, we are running a remote service. This means that we will post out your programmed hearing aids to you at home, along with batteries and written instructions. An audiologist will phone you shortly after you receive the hearing aids to see how you are progressing with them.
As current restrictions are reduced, we may be able to book a face-to-face appointment for you to have your hearing aids fitted if needed. During this appointment we will ensure the hearing aids are fitting comfortably in your ears and make various adjustments to the sound based on your recent hearing test. We will then spend time showing you how the hearing aids work, how to change the batteries and how to take them in and out of your ears. We will book a telephone follow-up appointment for about 8 weeks after the hearing aids have been fitted to see how you have been getting on with them.
Our team at Chime are on hand to answer any questions about your hearing aids or resolve maintenance issues whenever you need us. We also offer a free online hearing test if you think you may be in need of booking an audiology appointment.