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Ways to Prepare for a Hearing Test

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Far from being a normal test, a hearing test can be a very interesting experience if you've never been to one before. Because you are checking to see if everything is working correctly, you might think that you don't need to do any preparation. In actual fact, there are many things you can do to ensure that the test goes by smoothly and that you can get the most out of it.

Visit your audiologist

Be sure to schedule a hearing test with an audiologist so you can get started on the road to treating hearing loss effectively. An audiologist is someone you will come to rely on to diagnose your condition as well as recommend the best course of action for you. Having an audiologist that you can put your trust in is vital.

Take notes

Before and during the appointment it is recommended that you take a few notes. Before the appointment, consider any questions or concerns you may have about your hearing or hearing loss in general. No matter how trivial or silly your concerns may be, you need to know exactly what's going on. Your audiologist will have heard it all before and can answer every question you have. Every concern you have is important and has to be addressed. During the appointment, the audiologist will want you to list any medications, supplements and your health in general, so they can ascertain if it's relevant to your hearing problems. For example, if you suffer from any conditions like high blood pressure or asthma, you need to let the audiologist know. Likewise, if you've had any issues like sinusitis or ear infections, it's important to inform them of this as well.

Clean your ears

As the audiologist will perform a detailed inspection of the ear canal using an otoscope, they may perform a quick ear cleaning if they notice any kind of impactions or blockages. Built-up earwax can actually cause sudden hearing loss and even tinnitus, which is why the audiologist will visually inspect your ear canals to ensure they are free of dirt, debris and wax.

Avoid loud noise

As excessive noise causes damage to your hearing, you need to minimize your exposure to this for at least 12 hours before the hearing test. One of the tests, the pure-tone test, will measure your ability to detect different tones. If you have an exposure to loud noise in the hours before your hearing test, this can skew the results. If you have to put yourself into a noisy situation, such as using power tools or vacuuming the home, do your best to protect your ears from potential damage by wearing noise-canceling headphones.

Don't get sick

If you get a head cold, virus or infection a day or two prior to your appointment, get in contact with the audiologist. Because congestion within the head can affect the fluid in the middle ear, this can alter the function of your eardrum and may cause inaccurate results. Because the presence of fluid in the middle ear can affect the eardrum, the bones won't vibrate as they normally would, which will cause the results of your hearing test to vary than if you were feeling well. If you catch a cold, contact the office to discuss the issue, and if necessary, reschedule the appointment.

Don't forget to talk to your insurance company

It's a good idea to contact your insurance company before the appointment to see if anything is covered. While treatment like hearing aids may not be covered by your insurance, some do provide benefits for hearing tests. In addition to this, consulting your audiologist practice if they bill to insurance companies directly can give you a better understanding of what the insurance company needs from you and the audiologist so the appointment can be covered. Talking to the audiologist beforehand will help you better prepare for what you may be responsible for and can help you set your budget.

Preparing for a hearing test is as important for you as any serious examination. After all, the audiologist needs to know if there are any long-term issues that can affect your hearing. But it's their job to provide you with the path to wellness, and if this means providing you with a hearing aid, this can help you to live your life better. If you want to book a hearing test, or you have any questions, you can contact the Audiological Services of San Francisco at (415) 346-6886.