What you'll find on this page
- Things to expect on your first visit.
- How hearing loss is diagnosed.
- Information about treatment options.
What to expect
A hearing health professional who provides advice and support is vital. They are the experts in determining whether a hearing aid or an implant is right for your needs, or for those of your child. Finding the most appropriate solution can be life changing.
On the first visit, your hearing health professional will ask about medical history, recent hearing loss symptoms and general physical health to build a detailed case history.
They'll perform an exam and run tests with the aim of reaching a diagnosis.
Your hearing health professional will probably use an otoscope to look into you or your child's ears. This cone-shaped instrument has a light on the end to help them see any physical problems inside the ear.
There are various tests hearing health professionals use to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. These include:
Pure tone sound tests (air conduction test)
In this air conduction test, different pitches and tones are played through headphones or earplugs. The patient signals when they hear a sound. For children, this test is often turned into a game to make the experience fun.
Speech recognition test
This test is similar to the pure tone test but uses words or sentences rather than tones. It helps the health hearing professional determine how well speech is heard and understood at different volumes.
Bone conduction test
In this test, a metal band with an attachment, called a bone oscillator, is placed against the bone behind the ear. The oscillator sends sounds to the inner ear through the bone by vibration and measures the hearing in the inner hearing pathways.
Receiving your results
The results of the hearing test are ready immediately and mapped on an audiogram. This chart maps the degree of hearing loss and typically takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Your hearing health professional will go through and explain the results to you.
Discuss treatment options
Whatever the results show, remember there are treatment options for all types of hearing loss to help you or your child. Your hearing health professional will advise you, but also consider other factors such as lifestyle and life stage (school, work, retirement). Once you've covered all the options, they'll outline the next step for treatment.
Try bone conduction hearing
If you or your child are diagnosed with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness, it's possible to trial a bone conduction solution. Ask your hearing health professional for more information.