What To Expect At A Hearing Assessment

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Congratulations on booking your comprehensive hearing test or for looking at more information about one before you proceed.

Your hearing health is important, and this first step will ensure it is looked after well.

Why Is A Hearing Assessment Necessary?

Our patients get their first hearing assessment for any one of a number of reasons. They are concerned about hearing loss, they have balance issues or tinnitus, or their hearing just feels “off.”

We also do ototoxic monitoring. Certain drugs — some chemotherapy drugs, certain antibiotics, some loop diuretics, and certain NSAIDs — are toxic to the ears, so we monitor the patient while they are on an ototoxic drug regimen.

We also do hearing assessments on children who failed their newborn screening, have speech and language delay, have a family history of hearing loss, or their parents are concerned.

Why Do People Avoid Hearing Assessments?

So many people resist coming for a hearing assessment – due to denial they have any hearing loss, fear, or fear of the imagined stigma of wearing hearing aids. Thankfully, many focus on their health and prevent a lot of future damage in doing so.

Here at South Shore Hearing Center, we have been doing hearing assessments for people of all ages for more than 35 years. But even still, we understand that you might be nervous about the unknown aspects of the hearing check.

Because of that, we’ve put together a helpful guide so you’ll know what to expect.

The Days Leading Up To The Assessment

Nothing needs to be done to prepare for a hearing assessment, except maybe have your ears cleared of wax, if possible. Do NOT use Q-tips for this though, as these have caused untold hearing damage to many. Buy some over-the-counter ear drops to soften the wax instead.

Should You Bring Someone With You?

It is always a good idea to bring someone with you for when the results of the test are reviewed. If you have problems hearing, this provides another set of ears to listen.

Also, a lot of information is given after the test, and having someone else there ups the odds of remembering everything that was discussed.

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What To Expect At The Hearing Assessment

When you come to South Shore Hearing Center for a hearing assessment, we’ll include:

  1. A greeting with a smile, and we’ll confirm your basic information.
  2. A friendly discussion about any relevant past medical and hearing history.
  3. A physical exam of your ears.
  4. An evaluation of how well you hear certain sounds and words. There is no pain or discomfort during the testing. You will listen to tones and speech at different volumes, but nothing will be played too loudly.

We’ll use:

  • an audiometer to measure the sound responses and otoacoustic emissions
  • an otoscope to look in your ear canal
  • a tiny headphone
  • a bone oscillator to look at how your inner ear responds to sounds and tones
  • an immittance bridge – that tests your eardrum responses
  1. An immediate review of the results – your type and degree of hearing loss and its possible causes.
  2. A conversation about all treatment options We’ll give recommendations for appropriate assistive technologies or give referrals to other specialists, as needed.

Know that we are honored that you have chosen to walk this hearing journey with us, and we will focus on giving you our very best care from the minute you walk in the door.

After The Appointment

If further testing or treatment is sought, we schedule those appointments at that time – be that for a referral to an ENT specialist or an appointment to choose from our array of hearing aids based on your lifestyle, hearing needs, and budget.

The report is written, and a copy is sent to the patient and the referring physician.

How Much Is A Hearing Assessment?

Most insurances cover some or all of the test, but the out-of-pocket cost for a hearing assessment can be anywhere from $90–$125.

Full Hearing Assessment vs. An Online Hearing Test

Most importantly, the environment you have the test in is completely different. A full diagnostic test is done in a soundproof environment and will look at air conduction, bone conduction, and speech reception. An online test looks at air conduction only and might not be accurate.

Compared to many of the free hearing screenings offered, screening only offers a pass or fail result, looking only at whether you can hear sounds at 25 dB. Full testing will give you the type and degree of hearing loss – a diagnosis plus treatment options.

The Benefits Of Having Regular Hearing Assessments

Comprehensive hearing assessments are important. During a comprehensive evaluation, we assess the degree, type, and severity of hearing loss. This is simply not done in a screening or basic or routine test.

The first hearing evaluation you get gives us the baseline report we can use every time thereafter – comparing it each time to track and monitor for changes. After that, hearing tests should be done annually so we can be sure to catch and treat any changes quickly.

If You’d Like To Book A Hearing Assessment…

Simply call the office, email, or fill out this form to schedule an appointment that fits into your schedule. We’ll give you a reminder call or email the day before your appointment.

We look forward to giving you the best hearing care in Massachusetts.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Jennifer G. Mayer purchased South Shore Hearing Center in January 2016. She was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her Master’s degree in audiology from the Northeastern University in 1998. Dr. Mayer fulfilled her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) in 1999 at Hear USA and Cape Cod Ear, Nose and Throat. Following her CFY, Dr. Mayer was a staff audiologist in various clinical settings, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She joined the South Shore Hearing Center staff in 2006. Dr. Mayer obtained her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from the A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2008. Dr. Mayer’s specialties are diagnostic audiology, pediatric and adult amplification and educational audiology. Dr. Mayer is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Audiology and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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