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Getting a hearing test

Last week I was having a chat with a client in one our waiting rooms. Just the usual general chit chat etc. and I noticed the body language was a little tense, this person looked quite anxious and I asked if everything was okay.

The client replied, “I am fine, however I’ve never had a hearing test before and I am a little nervous, will it hurt?”

Sometimes when you are in the industry for so long, you assume that people know what a hearing test is and what is going to occur. However this opened my eyes to documenting what happens inside one of the ihear clinics when you book a hearing test. This particular client was relieved when I explained the process to them, however 5 minutes earlier they looked like someone you see waiting for a Dentist!

so what happens inside a hearing test?

  1. After completing the details with our Patient Care Coordinator, you will then be taken into a consultation room with our qualified clinician.
  2. The clinician will outline what is going to happen today and then proceed to have a discussion with you about your hearing concerns.
  3. The clinicians main objective here is to discover a few important details including
    1. How long have you been experiencing hearing concerns/problems?
    2. Is it both ears or just one? Which ear do you think is worse?
    3. Background information such as occupation (noise exposure), family history?
    4. Are there particular situations where you struggle more than others (television, family gatherings)?

I liken this process to a job interview without the pressure. The more information we can get here then this will help us make the right recommendations.

The next step is a visual examination. Here we have a look inside your ears to ensure there is no visible reason for the hearing concerns e.g. ear infection or a build- up of wax. It is not un- common for us to stop the appointment here because you may need the wax removed from your ears using products bought a chemist or to see your GP. Sometimes it is that simple!

If the ears are visibly fine, we then move to the more diagnostic part of the appointment, the hearing test. Here we placed either headphones or earphones on you and then proceed to present tones to you at different frequencies. Your job, is tell us which ones you hear. We will do this to both ears. On completion we will now have completed an Audiogram which is the results of your hearing tests.

The next phase is discussing and explaining the results to you. Indicating what you may be missing and using the results to explain why you may not be hearing the television or the grandchildren etc.

The final part is the recommendation. Using all the above information we combine the results with your lifestyle, needs and recommend a solution. This may a set of headphones for the TV, some communication tips or recommending a hearing aid. The hearing aid recommendation will be based on your results, your lifestyle, your ability to operate small devices and of course your budget. If we have done our job right and listened, then this process is very straight forward. You are then on your way to better hearing!

One important tip for this whole process is to bring a partner or family member to the appointment. There is a lot of information discussed during this process and two heads are better than one to absorb the information for that conversation on the way home!

This is what happens at ihear, and I would be interested to see if your experiences are the same, better or worse? How did you find the hearing test process?

about shane

 

Shane Bullivant has been in the hearing industry since 1993, first starting out as a hearing technician with Starkey Hearing technologies. During this time he was a trainer and managed the hearing aid production for Starkey in Australia and New Zealand between 2000- 2007. Shane joined ihear Australia in 2007, where he is now Director. Shane is also a qualified audiometrist completing the course in 1999. This places Shane in an enviable position of being able to take a client through the hearing journey knowing all aspects of the process to better hearing.