What To Expect When You Visit An Audiologist
If you have concerns about your hearing, it is always a good idea to get it checked. This may include struggling to hear in one-to-one conversations, finding it difficult in group instances a friend or family may have noticed a change in your hearing.
When you visit our clinic, you will meet one of our fully Qualified Audiologists, and they will chat with you about your hearing concerns. Your Audiologist will ask you various questions relating to your current lifestyle, medical conditions, and previous exposure to excessive noise levels. It is important to let your Audiologist know where you are struggling so that they can understand where the issue may lie.
Your Audiologist will then conduct a physical examination of both ears which allows us to inspect for any obstructions or wax which may hinder your hearing test. The Audiologist will use a small light called an Otoscope. This allows the Audiologist to physically examine the ear canal and ear drum and identify any possible anomalies.
The Audiologist will then complete a hearing test on both ears to determine whether or not hearing loss is present. Your Audiologist will place headphones over both ears and a button for you to press. Sounds are played through the headphones at different pitches & frequencies.
The results are plotted on a graph called an Audiogram, which your Audiologist will explain to you clearly.
Once the test is completed, your Audiologist will explain the results of your hearing test on an Audiogram.
If hearing loss is detected, it can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound, which will be explained in detail so you can understand.
If you are a suitable candidate, your Audiologist will allow you to demonstrate and then fit you with a pair of hearing aids calibrated to your specific results.
Why Would I Be Referred To My GP or ENT After Being Tested?
In some cases, your Audiologist may have identified underlying causes of your hearing loss, such as:
- If you have noticed noises in your ear, such as ringing, humming, or whistling, this may be Tinnitus. Tinnitus affects many adults in Ireland each year; the causes of Tinnitus are hearing loss, prolonged exposure to loud noises, impacted ear wax, or ear infections.
- Meniere's disease is a condition that affects the inner ear; it can cause dizzy spells and hearing loss. If the Audiologist identifies symptoms of Meniere's disease, they may refer your GP or ENT.
- Ear infections can also cause discomfort and potential hearing loss. Unfortunately, an Audiologist cannot prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Your GP can assist you with this.
- Cholesteatoma is an abnormal collection of skin cells deep inside your ear. Although they are quite rare.
- Acoustic Neuroma is a rate of growth that develops on the hearing/balance nerve between the brain and inner ear. If your Audiologist suspects this may cause your hearing loss, they will refer you to an ENT for a CT scan and full diagnosis.
If you have any questions prior to your visit, please do not hesitate to get in touch.