If you're here, that means you've taken the most important step in maintaining good hearing health. You've scheduled an appointment. At this point, no one could blame you for being a bit nervous.

After all, you've never done this before. Maybe you don't even have a clear idea of what an audiologist is or what one does. We'll help you calm your nerves by walking you through what you can expect at your first hearing appointment.

As you'll see, you have nothing to be worried about. 

The First Step, As Always, is Paperwork

If you've ever visited a new doctor's office, you should be relatively familiar with the intake process. Before your audiologist can see you, they'll need you to fill out a few forms. Generally speaking, you'll want to make sure you have the following information at the ready before arriving at the clinic: 
  • Insurance details
  • Relevant medical history, particularly as it pertains to your ears
  • Current medications
  • Current, ongoing health conditions
  • Whether you're experiencing any symptoms such as tinnitus, vertigo, etc. 
  • The reason you've booked this appointment

Next, Expect a Visual Inspection

Once your intake forms are complete, you'll eventually be called in to see the audiologist. Once introductions are made, the first thing they'll probably do is visually examine your ears. Typically, they'll leverage a specialized handheld tool known as an otoscope to give them a look inside the ear canal while also visually examining the outer ear.

This process is both painless and non-invasive. 

How to Prepare for Your First Hearing Test

With their visual exam complete, the audiologist will next test your hearing. Most commonly, this involves a pure-tone audiometry exam. The process for said exam is as follows: 
  • You'll be given a specialized headset or placed in a special booth.
  • The audiologist will play a series of tones at multiple frequencies and volumes. Each time you hear a tone, you'll be instructed to signal the audiologist by raising your hand or pressing a button.
  • The results of the test will be compiled into a chart known as an audiogram, which the audiologist can then use to determine the likelihood that you may be experiencing hearing loss. 
Alongside pure-tone testing, other tests may include a pressure test to examine the eardrum and a speech test to further determine the possibility of hearing loss. 

Post-Test Discussion

Once your hearing test is done, all that's left is to discuss the results. Your audiologist will walk you through what they've uncovered, what that means, and their recommended next steps. And that's it.

That's everything involved in a hearing appointment. As we said, it's nothing to be nervous or concerned about. But it is something you should consider scheduling if you haven't done so yet—yearly hearing exams are crucial to maintaining good aural health.