First Audiology Visit Jitters…Calmed

Picking up that phone and making “that” call can be scary.  It may be a phone call asking a girl out on a first date, calling a family member with bad news, or even scheduling a doctor’s appointment knowing the outcome may not be what you want to hear.  For many of our patients, making the phone call to schedule an appointment for an audiologic evaluation can cause hesitation.  Telling patients thank you for calling is huge because that is the first step to an improved quality of life.

So now that you made the call, what happens?  Here is a small preview of what occurs during a visit to the audiologist.

1.  Yes of course there is paperwork to fill out but this is for your own good.  Whether it is done at home or in the office, a case history is important for your care.  Audiologists find out a lot of information based just on the case history alone.  It allows us to also figure out how the appointment may go and what issues will need to be addressed.

2.  Once the audiologist has met and spoke with you about the case history, the actual hearing test will begin.  Yes this is the part when you raise your hand or push a button when you hear the beeps.  The audiologist is trying to find your threshold level of hearing;  that is, the quietest sound you can detect.  These sounds are ear and frequency specific and plotted on an audiogram.

Audiogram showing environmental sounds as well as sounds of speech
Basic audiogram chart. Sounds are plotted for each frequency and intensity level.






An audiogram showing a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

3.  After the pure tones (beeping) comes word and speech testing.  During these variety of speech tests, audiologists are finding out at what level you are hearing and understanding speech in both quiet and noisy situations.  This helps the audiologist determine if you will benefit from amplification or if your hearing loss may require medical intervention by a otolaryngologist (ENT).

4.  Following the basic hearing evaluation, other tests are completed to check the health of the middle ear as well as the acoustic reflex.  The purpose of these tests are to confirm the above hearing test findings and to provide more puzzle pieces for the audiologist to make a complete diagnosis and to help form a care plan.

5.  Following the audiologic evaluation, the audiologist will discuss the results with you and your family.  This allows questions to be asked and answered as well as a treatment plan to be formed.  If hearing aids are recommended, a hearing aid evaluation will be performed (that’s for another blog post).

I hope this is something that will help calm the nerves and instead help you look forward to your visit.  Make the call!  You are only one step away from better hearing and improving your quality of life!


About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.