What happened when I went to my first audiology appointment alone
Over the last 20 years of my life, audiology appointments have become a regular commitment in my life, due to my profound hearing loss.
Up until I turned 18, I was in the children’s Audiology department, and for each routine appointment and check-up I would visit my audiologist with my parents. Now that I’m older, I’m enrolled in the adult department, where allow for more independence, such as booking appointments when you feel it’s convenient to do so.
Growing up and becoming more independent with my hearing aids have been an interesting experience. Here’s what I encountered during my first audiology appointment alone:
Booking my audiology appointment
I hadn’t had an appointment since I got my hearing aids about three years ago so I thought it was time to have another hearing test and check-up. I contacted the hospital for an appointment and when I received the date, I realised that both my parents were busy so it meant I had to go alone for the first time.
On arrival, I checked myself in and waited for my appointment. This lovely old lady started talking to me, wondering why I was here and I told her anybody of any age can have a hearing loss, not just older people. She seemed so interested about my life!
If you would like to visit an audiologist near you, you can use this tool to make an appointment.
Meeting my audiologist
The audiologist eventually called me into his office. He was a nice young man, who happened to be a fan of my blog, Deafie Blogger! We discussed the differences between the pediatric and adult hearing clinic, and he asked me questions about my hearing loss and lifestyle. I was able to understand him well, as he made sure he was positioned so I could lipread him. If there was anything I was unsure of, I made a point of asking again. He didn’t mind repeating himself.
He then moved onto the hearing test, and asked if I was familiar with it… after 20 years, I told him it’s a breeze. For the test, I wore headphones that play sounds into my ears, then pressed a buzzer at different sounds. It’s a real mind game too! Sometimes I feel like my brain tricks me into hearing some sounds… but I guess it’s part of the test.
My Hearing Test Results
I guess finding out test results is always a worry for those with hearing loss. The fear of a hearing test often deters people for even going into an Audiology appointment. Those who have gradual hearing loss must find it quite scary if they are told that they’ve lost more of their hearing. But it’s really not that bad, and knowing your options are better than missing out on so many sounds!
My audiologist told me that my results hadn’t changed much, and my hearing has been the same over the last 20 years, which I was happy to learn!
However, many people have progressive hearing loss, and there are a lot of resources, tools and technology available. Audiologist should provide you with all the information you need to know for your specific hearing needs.
Just remember, you’re not alone, there’s millions of people with hearing loss!
Getting new ear molds
Whenever your ears grow, or your current ear molds are getting old it’s always a good idea to get new ones! My audiologist took some new impressions of my ear by injecting ____ into my ear. It always tickles and feels so gooey but there’s something relaxing about it!
It’s important to remember not to talk or smile when the ____ is setting in your ear, because your jaw muscles can push the mold out of your ear, making it so it won’t fit properly. I’ve learnt my lesson with that! Sometimes you get a choice of color for your ear molds – just make sure you ask before they print off the order.
Making the most of your audiology appointment
You should have a chance to ask your questions during your appointment (or toward the end) and find out anything else you want to know about your hearing loss and technology. Don’t feel embarrassed or worried about asking questions. Audiologists are only there to help you make the best out of the hearing you have.
I asked how often should I come back for an appointment, and my audiologist suggested every two-to-three years, unless I felt like my hearing had decreased, or if my hearing aid stopped working.
There might also be an opportunity to discuss other hearing technologies available or suited to you. Some might require you going away and doing further research and having a think about it, or others you might like to try out while you’re there. If you’re not happy about something, make sure you say!
Overall, I had a pleasant experience! Once you’ve been alone for the first time, it’s not so worrying.
If you do want to bring someone else along with you, then it’s not a problem – especially for your first appointment! Check out this blog about why you should bring family or friends to your audiology appointment.
Have you had to go to your Audiology appointment alone for the first time? Was it a daunting experience?