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Preparing for a Hearing Exam

Hearing Test

If only hearing tests were like the exams from high school or college that you could study for and ace! But it’s just not like that. Perhaps it’s better to equate a hearing exam to an eye exam – easy and painless. If you’ve noticed a decline in your hearing in recent years or you find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or radio, it may be time to have your hearing tested. Preparing for a hearing exam is easy! Preparing to learn the results may be a little tougher.

Make the appointment

You will want to see an audiologist for your hearing exam. Audiologists are medical professionals and perform a physical examination of your ears as well as several hearing tests. The audiologist will check your ear canal and eardrum for any problems. To prepare for the exam, clear your outer ears of any earwax (but do not use a cotton swab inside your ear canal). Avoid any exposure to loud noises prior to your appointment – in other words, don’t go the day after you attended a musical performance. Also, if you’re not feeling well or your ears seem stuffy due to a cold, change your appointment date.

Prepare your notes

Just as with your primary health care provider, you will want to share your medical history with your audiologist. Note if there is a family history of hearing issues, if you’ve been exposed to loud noises in the past and discuss any ear injuries or surgeries you’ve had. Prepare a list of medications for review.

It’s also a good idea to think about where you have trouble hearing. Write down a list of situations and when you notice problems. Make a list of any questions you have so you won’t forget to ask.

Anticipate the results

Age is the greatest factor in hearing loss. If you’re over 60 and this appointment is the first time you’ve seen an audiologist in decades, it’s a good time to do some research on hearing aids. Of course, not everyone needs hearing aids after a hearing exam. Sometimes a wax impaction or blockage in the ear canal causes a temporary hearing loss. Some medications may lead to hearing issues. But age is the top reason for hearing loss in those over 55.

If you’re preparing for a hearing exam, you probably have considered that you may need hearing aids. If you’re a little anxious, take a friend along. Remember, you’re there to solve a problem. If the solution is hearing aids, your audiologist will work with you to find the best type to fit your budget and lifestyle. Today’s hearing aids are small, light and provide a better quality of sound than the old amplifiers. So focus on the positive as you prepare for the hearing tests. It’s an hour of your time that can make a huge difference in your quality of life.