BLOG – What to Expect at your Hearing Health Check

If you or someone you know has a hearing loss, a simple appointment can help relieve frustration and help you find the right hearing care solution for you. So what can you expect at one of our Hearing Health Checks?

Understanding your Hearing Loss

We’re big believers in the importance of doing everything possible to put you at ease before and during your appointment. Before you visit, we’ll share the structure of the appointment with you so that you know what to expect.

We’ll start by chatting about your hearing difficulties and what kind of environments you struggle in – e.g., in a car, a restaurant or in group situations, are just some common answers.

We’ll then take a quick look inside your ears with something called an otoscope, to make sure your ears are clear and healthy. One reason for this is that it’s quite common for people of all ages to experience hearing loss due to a build-up of wax within their ear.

Ear Wax Removal

Ear canal blockage can be quite uncomfortable, even painful. Depending on the amount of wax, it can also considerably affect the individual’s hearing, even to the point of experiencing deafness until the wax is removed.

Built-up wax can lead to a feeling of pressure or “fullness” within the ear, and can even cause tinnitus. Our audiologists are qualified practitioners of ear wax removal, and can remove this wax for you at an ear wax removal appointment.

Your Simple Hearing Test

If everything looks clear and healthy when we take a look inside your ear, we’ll then go ahead with a simple hearing test. During the hearing test, we’ll play you some sounds at different pitches, and ask you to let us know every time you hear a sound. Afterwards, we’ll show you the results and discuss your options.

If a loss is present, we’ll usually offer a demonstration of hearing aids on-site and fitted to your hearing loss, with the aim of allowing you to make an informed decision. You might know what you’re looking for straight away, or sometimes it’s helpful to take some time and review the options with a family member. In normal circumstances, we’d always encourage you to bring someone with you to your hearing health check. This can still happen, but as part of our safety and infection control measures at the moment, we have to ensure social distancing.

Supporting someone with Hearing Loss

If you’re a friend or family member and you’re keen to arrange a hearing health check for someone else, it can be helpful to have some background information for discussing their hearing loss with them.

For example, it’s important to help them understand the range of reasons a hearing loss can happen, and that the stigma around hearing loss that has existed in the past is now much less.

Most hearing losses come about as a result of natural wear and tear over the years. However, noise-induced hearing loss is also very common – this may be caused by loud noise exposure at work, or even through hobbies such as shooting or playing in a band. Because of this mix of contributing factors to hearing loss, we see patients of a variety of ages who are experiencing hearing loss.

Our audiologists find that how hearing loss affects people can vary a lot depending on whether they recognise their loss. Denial can be quite common – a common thing for someone with hearing loss to say is “it’s not me, if only people spoke clearly”. For some it takes a while to recognise their hearing loss and the effects of it, such as feeling isolated in social situations. On a lot of occasions their decision to eventually approach for help comes after talking to family and friends.

Hearing Aids

Demonstrating some hearing aid options is often helpful to alleviate some misgivings you may have. “Will it be obvious I’m wearing a hearing aid?” “Will it make a difference?” These are common worries for people experiencing a hearing loss.

Modern digital hearing aids will cover mild to profound losses and are extremely discreet. The technology allows us to programme your device to your hearing loss and the kinds of situations where you struggle to hear. At your appointment, your audiologist will explain how this works and how we can continue to adjust your device to help you get the most out of your hearing.

If you go ahead with hearing aids, we’ll fine tune the product to your satisfaction at a subsequent fitting appointment. We’ll make sure you can confidently insert the hearing aids and that they’re comfortable in place for you. We’ll also give you a demonstration on how to clean and maintain your hearing aids.

Aftercare is an important part of how we can help you make the most of your hearing aid. Most hearing loss happens over many hears, so it can take a while to acclimatise to your hearing aids and the range of new sounds it may pick up. After your fitting, we’ll follow up with two further appointments two weeks apart for further fine-tuning and to review any difficulties you’re experiencing. Your audiologist will then continue to assist with six-monthly appointments or as and when you need them.

With years of experience, our audiologists understand that everyone’s hearing is different, and every hearing loss is unique to them. That’s why we take the time to fully discuss your hearing loss with you, and fine tune hearing aids to your needs. For an insider’s perspective of how our hearing services can change your life, read this account from one of our patients.