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May is Better Hearing Month: Have You Had Your Hearing Checked Lately?


Preparing for a Comprehensive Audiological Evaluation: A Patient’s Guide


By Shelby Garrison, AuD


A comprehensive audiological evaluation is a crucial step in understanding and addressing hearing-related concerns. Whether it’s a routine check-up or an initial assessment of hearing loss, adequate preparation ensures a more accurate assessment and a smoother experience. Here are essential steps for patients to prepare for their audiological evaluation:

  1. Gather Necessary Information: Before the appointment, compile relevant medical history, including any past audiological tests, medications, or conditions that might impact hearing. Be prepared to discuss any recent changes in hearing or concerns.
  2. Make a List of Questions: Consider any specific questions or concerns you have about your hearing and/or ears. This could include queries about hearing aids, tinnitus, or difficulties in certain listening environments. Having these questions written down ensures you address all your concerns during the evaluation.
  3. Understand the Evaluation Process: Familiarize yourself with what to expect during the evaluation. It typically involves various tests to assess hearing sensitivity, speech understanding, and the health of the ear. The evaluation might include pure-tone audiometry, speech testing, tympanometry (to check middle ear function), and other specialized tests. Expect a comprehensive assessment tailored to your specific needs. Knowing these procedures can alleviate anxiety and make the process more comfortable.
  4. Bring a Companion: Consider bringing a family member or friend along for support and to provide additional perspective on your hearing difficulties. They can offer valuable insights that you might not have noticed and help remember important details discussed during the evaluation.
  5. Bring Necessary Devices: If you already use hearing aids or assistive listening devices, bring them to the evaluation. This allows the audiologist to check their functionality, adjust settings if necessary, and ensure they are properly fitted for your needs.
  6. Have Wax Removed from Ears Prior: Many people struggle with an excess accumulation of wax (cerumen) in their ears. If the wax is occluding, there is a possibility that the test results may be affected. If you know or suspect that you have occluding wax in your ear canal(s), it is recommended to have the wax removed either at home via wax softening drops such as Debrox and a bulb syringe to flush the ears. Otherwise, your PCP or an Urgent Care clinic may have the ability to flush the ears with water.
  7. Relax and Communicate: During the evaluation, communicate openly with your audiologist. Inform them of any discomfort or concerns during the tests. Relaxation is key to obtaining accurate results, so try to remain calm and focused throughout the evaluation process.
  8. Follow Instructions Carefully: Your audiologist may provide specific instructions before the evaluation, such as avoiding exposure to loud noises or refraining from using certain medications. Adhering to these instructions ensures the most accurate assessment of your hearing health.
  9. Discuss Follow-Up Steps: After the evaluation, discuss the results with your audiologist. They will explain the findings and recommend appropriate next steps, which might include further testing, treatment options, or recommendations for hearing aids or assistive devices.
  10. Plan for Future Appointments: Depending on the evaluation outcomes, plan for follow-up appointments or ongoing care as advised by your audiologist. Regular check-ups are crucial for managing hearing health effectively.


By adequately preparing for a comprehensive audiological evaluation, patients can maximize the benefits of the assessment and take proactive steps toward addressing any hearing concerns. Effective communication, preparation, and active involvement in the evaluation process contribute significantly to a more thorough understanding of one’s hearing health.


Now is a great time to have your hearing checked! Audiology Consultants’ offices are located at 2215 East 52nd St., #2, Davenport, IA: 563-355-7712; 600 Valley View Dr., Moline, IL: 309-517-3889; Unity Point Clinic, 3426 North Port Dr., #500, Muscatine, IL: 563-264-9406; or Hammond Henry Hospital, 600 College Ave., Geneseo, IL: 309-944-9181.