What To Expect During Your First Visit
Hearing loss is much more common than you think. The good news is that with today’s hearing aid technology, almost every hearing loss can be treated. Today's hearing aids, besides being extremely powerful and very small, are designed to help people get more enjoyment from life. There are a number of reasons a person may be hesitant to seek help for hearing difficulties, most of which are based on misperception and fear, not reality. This page was created to shed some light on what lies ahead, and to help ease any concerns you may have about your first hearing evaluation.
Setting the Appointment
If you haven't already scheduled an appointment, you can get started by calling us toll-free at (888) 264-2882. You will then be connected directly to one of our friendly Patient Care Coordinators who will determine the type of care you might need: a simple checkup, hearing aid repair, or a complete hearing screening and consultation. You can then schedule your appointment with one of our expert hearing professionals at the AccuQuest Hearing Center closest to you.
Video Otoscopy Examination
Following a quick questionnaire used to establish your general health and health history, your hearing professional will conduct a painless visual examination of the ear with a video otoscope. You will see what the practitioner sees on a monitor or large screen TV. This examination will reveal any obstructions or infections that might affect your hearing. If a condition requiring medical treatment is detected, you will be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If there is no medical reason for hearing loss, such as a wax blockage, perforated eardrum, hyperthyroidism or other conditions, then your hearing specialist will perform a series of tests to determine if you will benefit from hearing aids.
The Hearing Evaluation
During a Hearing Evaluation, your hearing professional uses an audiometer to conduct a series of tests. This equipment emits sounds or tones, like musical notes, at various frequencies and at differing volumes or decibel levels. This test is performed in a soundproof testing room or booth. During some of the tests, you will wear headphones to isolate each ear.
The Pure Tone Test consists of individual tones being played at varying frequencies and volumes that are generated through your headphones. When you hear a tone, you will indicate that you can hear it in one ear or the other. This process, repeated over a wide range of frequencies and volumes, helps to identify the specific frequencies of your hearing loss.
You will then be given two tests of word recognition to see how your brain has adapted to hearing loss and to determine your understanding of the sounds you can't hear in order to recognize words. The first is done in silence, to determine a baseline for what you can or cannot hear. The second, referred to as a Speech in Noise Test, is completed with a simulation of background noises and voices much like you experience in the real world, to determine how well you hear in a more common environment.
Next, you'll do a Bone Conduction Test to better understand the underlying nature of your hearing loss. This test tells your practitioner how much of your hearing loss is caused by damage to the actual bone structure of your ears and/or how much of your hearing loss is related to the nerves that carry the sound signals to the brain, or if it is a combination of both.
Finally, and this is where your spouse or friend that came with you gets to help you out, you will complete a Familiar Voice Test (a variation of the California Consonant Test) to learn how well you can understand the person that is closest to you. This helps us better understand how your brain has compensated for your hearing loss. A bonus effect of this test is that your spouse or friend will gain a new understanding of your hearing loss. Believe it or not, this test has actually saved marriages!
Hearing Aid Selection & Demonstration
We are proud to sell, fit and service some of the finest and most advanced hearing aids on the market. At this point, your hearing specialist will be able to recommend a hearing solution that best fits your lifestyle, hearing loss severity, cosmetic preferences and budget. They will fit you with a set of custom-programmed hearing aids and demonstrate the improved hearing that you could expect with your new aids. Upon your selection of style and color, your hearing professional will discuss the flexible payment options and convenient payment plans that are available to you. Payment plans and accepted insurance plans will vary depending on your location. Once payment is arranged, the hearing aid ordering process begins and your hearing aids will arrive at your local office soon. You will then be contacted to return for your first fitting and your 30 or 45 day trial (depending on area) begins that day.
Hearing Aid Fitting
Since your level of hearing loss is unique to you, each aid needs to be programmed and fine tuned to ensure that you are receiving the very best results from your aids. When you arrive for your fitting, your hearing professional will place the aids in your ears and program them to the settings that ensure you are getting the most ideal results. At first, you will notice background or ambient sounds that you may not be used to, possibly for some time. These background noises might be the refrigerator running, the air conditioner humming or traffic noise. Do not be alarmed by these new sounds, as this is completely normal. When you had good hearing, your brain was conditioned to “tune out” these sounds. Since your brain hasn’t had to tune out these noises during your time with untreated hearing loss, it’s a bit out of practice. As you consistently wear your hearing aids, your brain will adjust to these noises and automatically begin to tune them out so you can enjoy hearing again the way you were meant to hear.
Hearing Aid Follow-Up
Your hearing specialist will schedule a follow-up visit, at which time you will have an opportunity to discuss your experiences with your new hearing aids. This is a rehabilitative process, so it is common to need fine tuning as you try your new aids in the various listening environments. If you do happen to notice that you are not hearing the way you should, take careful and detailed notes on your experiences so your practitioner can respond to your specific concerns. It is our promise to work diligently to make the necessary adjustments on your new hearing aids until you are completely satisfied!
Enjoy Your Hearing!
Now that your hearing aids have been fine tuned to your satisfaction, you can go about your life hearing those sounds you have been missing out on for so long. If you have any questions or concerns about your new hearing aids, please contact your local AccuQuest Hearing Aid Center and we’ll be happy to help!
Or call us at (888) 264-2882 Let’s get you hearing better today!