There are many steps that are part of a hearing aid evaluation. If you suspect that you might need a hearing aid, you will first need to have a hearing evaluation. At the time of the hearing evaluation, a case history will be taken to determine how much your hearing problem impacts your day-to-day life as well as the lives of your family. A complete history will be taken, the audiologist will ask questions to discover the specific types of environments in which you may be experiencing hearing loss and hearing problems. If there is ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and if you experience dizziness. You may also have to provide some basic questions about your general health history. Next, the audiologist will look into your ears by using an otoscope. This instrument is used to see the ear canal and the eardrum and whether or not there is earwax obstructing the canal.
The results from your hearing test will provide the audiologist an outline of what sounds you may be missing or hearing, but the personal answers about your daily life and perception about your hearing provide the basis for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation. You may be referred to a medical doctor specializing in disorders of the ear if there are other medical conditions they think should be addressed before hearing aids are recommended. This referral can often be the first step in the hearing aid examination.
If your hearing test reveals a permanent hearing loss, a hearing aid may be recommended for one or both ears. Dr. Gordon and Dr. Breen will explain what sounds you are not hearing and what a hearing aid(s) can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In some cases, you may even be able try a hearing aid. Dr. Gordon or Dr. Breen will help you choose the best hearing aid(s) style, features and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, and financial circumstances. The final decision on which hearing aid(s) is purchased is your choice.
Once you make a decision, Dr. Gordon or Dr. Breen may take impressions of your ears if you selected custom hearing aids or behind-the-ear hearing aids that require earmolds. Hearing aids usually have to be ordered from a manufacturer. This process can takes approximately 1-2 weeks.