The first step in determining your hearing healthcare needs is a comprehensive audiologic evaluation. If you or a family member is in need of audiologic services, you are advised to check with your insurance plan for coverage options and exclusions. Some insurance plans, such as Medicare, require a physician's order and medical necessity to consider coverage of testing; however, many other plans allow direct access to an audiologist without a physician referral.
During your hearing evaluation, the audiologist will obtain a detailed case history including your hearing and ear-related concerns, current and past medical history, noise related history and family history. The case history is an important component to your overall evaluation. During your visit, the audiologist will review your history and then conduct a comprehensive audiologic evaluation.
Tests that will be conducted include:
- Case History
- Pure tone air and bone conduction testing to determine severity and type of hearing loss.
- Speech processing evaluation to evaluate your ability to understand speech signals. This will aid in determining the type of hearing loss, as well as guide treatment recommendations and realistic expectations for success with amplification.
- Immittance measures (tympanometry and acoustic reflexes). This test battery will help determine the function of your eardrum and middle ear space. These results are evaluated in conjunction with your hearing evaluation results to determine the origin of your hearing loss.
- Specialized testing such as Auditory Brainstem Response and Otoacoustic Emissions, as needed.
- Counseling, communication strategies, referrals and recommendations.
If your hearing results suggest you need additional evaluation and/or treatment, the audiologist will make those recommendations at this visit. Possible outcome may include a follow-up evaluation with your primary care physician, pediatrician, an otolaryngologist, and/or other professionals.