You will find hearing clinics conveniently located in both downtown office buildings and suburban shopping malls. There is almost always one within easy driving distance no matter where you live. The professionals at the clinic are there to help test your hearing and advise you on the choices of hearing devices like hearing aids. Then, they can help you make the right selection and get it properly fitted to meet your specific needs. They also provide counseling and regular checkup and maintenance for your hearing devices.
Usually there is an evaluation and testing process, including a complete hearing test and then the professionals at the clinic will make some recommendations to provide equipment like hearing aids or ear plugs that can help you hear better and more clearly. Here is how a hearing clinic might actually work after you arrive for your appointment
1. Hearing evaluation
A hearing evaluation is carried out by an audiologist at the hearing clinic. This takes a little over half an hour and involves reviewing each patient’s health history that includes any possible exposure to loud noises and their family history around hearing and hearing loss.
Then, there is an of the ear with an otoscope to determine if there is any wax or debris present in the ear canal and the overall health of the eardrum. Following these initial steps is a testing process in a special room with calibrated equipment. This allows the audiologist to make an initial assessment.
After the testing has been complete, the professionals at the hearing clinic will discuss their evaluation and make recommendations to you about your hearing. They will answer any questions you may have about the test results and the next steps to follow.
Those steps might be to recommend a hearing aid, or if they find other issues, to refer you back to you regular doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist for further evaluation, and possible treatment for hearing issues. The professionals at the clinic might also make additional recommendations to you to help improve both your hearing and communication skills.
3. Hearing aid testing
If you require a hearing aid to improve your hearing and overall communication, the people at the hearing clinic will walk you through a process to find exactly the right hearing aid device to meet your needs. They will have samples of the many types of hearing aids available in the office so that you can see what each model feels and sounds like before you make a purchase.
One common approach that they often use is to take earmold impressions of your ears that are sent to the hearing aid manufacturer to customize your hearing aid to your particular requirements.
4. Find the right fit
After you decide on the model that you want to use and the earmold impressions are sent to the hearing aid manufacturer, there is about a two week wait for your specialized hearing aid device to be made and sent back to the hearing aid clinic.
The clinic will call and schedule another convenient appointment for you to come and try out your new hearing aid. This appointment might take an hour or so and it involves taking your hearing aid and adjusting and fine-tuning it to perfectly suit your ears and your hearing need.
5. Following up
There is usually one more formal appointment in the process to ensure that your hearing aid device is properly and accurately fitted to meet your hearing needs. This session is usually quite short and involves testing the amplification of the device and to ensure a comfortable physically fit of the hearing aid.
If there is any discomfort with the hearing aid, this is the time to raise it and have it addressed. Then you are done, except for regular maintenance and check-ups every six months, and a complete hearing test once a year.