Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Hearing Health Q & A


By Emily Steffel, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiology Consultants

Q: My doctor is recommending I have my hearing tested. What can I expect from the experience?

A: Have no fear; we endeavor to make the process as painless and stress-free as possible. If your doctor is recommending a hearing test, often he or she will send a referral to us indicating that a hearing test is recommended. We will then call you to set up the appointment for a date and time that works for you. Sometimes your doctor will have you give us a call to set up the appointment. That is no big deal either. You can just call up our offices at any of the following telephone numbers: Davenport, IA 563-355-7712; Milan, IL
390-283-5902; Muscatine, IA 563-264-9406; or Geneseo, IL 309-944-9181. When the appointment is set up, we will request your basic information, including your address. We will then send to you by mail new patient paperwork as well as personalized directions as to how to get from your address to the clinic you will be seen at. The business day before your appointment, we will call you to remind you of your appointment.

When you arrive for your appointment, we will collect the paperwork, take copies of your ID and insurance cards, and let the audiologist know you have arrived and are ready. The audiologist will bring you back to the test booth. In the booth, the audiologist will go over your health history information and look in your ears to ensure that your ear canals are not blocked by wax or any other substance that would keep us from being able to complete the test that day. If there is a blockage present, we will recommend you see your primary doctor to have it removed and then that you return to see us at a later appointment. If your ears are not blocked, we will continue with the testing. Prior to putting on the headphones for testing, the audiologist will explain to you the directions of the two tasks you will be performing:

“When you hear any beeps in your ears you will raise your hand, even if the beeps are very soft. When you hear the person on the recording speaking, you will repeat what was said. If you are not sure what word was said, you should take your best guess then get ready for the next word.” Before switching from one task to the other, the audiologist will reinstruct you as to which action is being requested from you. Occasionally, you may be told you will hear some static in one ear while the other ear is tested and that you should ignore the static and just listen for the beeps. We know the testing can sometimes be difficult as we are at times asking you to try to hear soft beeps or soft speech, but all we expect is that you will try your best. There will be times that you cannot hear a word or a beep and that is a normal part of the testing, whether you have a hearing loss or not. We are trying to find the softest sound you can hear, so we must go below what you can hear at times.

After the testing is done, the audiologist will take you into their office and will go over the results of your testing. We will let you know if you have hearing loss or not, where the hearing loss falls (high or low pitches), what types of sounds are in the area you are missing (consonants/clarity of speech or vowels/ volume of speech), and what kind or hearing loss it is (conductive, sensorineural, or mixed). We will also let you know your word understanding score (how well you could repeat the words back), as well as if you could benefit from the use of amplification to assist communication ability or if you simply need to utilize better communication hygiene (such as looking at the person you are speaking with, reducing back ground noise, and speaking clearly and precisely). We will also send a copy of your test results along with a written report to your primary care physician.

If you are interested in pursuing amplification, we will also set up an appointment to discuss your amplification options (styles, and technology levels, as well as your lifestyle) to provide you the information you need to determine which type of amplification that is best for you. We look forward to seeing you soon.

If you have any questions about this article or your hearing health, please feel free to contact Audiology Consultants at 563-355-7712 or visit audiologyconsultants.com.