As someone interested in how the elderly, particularly those with limited mobility, can access essential health services, I recently explored the concept of home visit hearing tests by Verified Hearing. I was keen to understand how these visits work and how one can prepare for them effectively. Here are the key takeaways from my conversation with one of their audiologists.
Preparing for the Hearing Test at Home
1. Be at Home for Your Appointment
Ensure you’re at home and ready for your appointment. This might seem obvious, but it’s crucial. Being punctual and prepared avoids any unnecessary stress or delays for both you and the audiologist.
2. Ear Wax Check & Inquire About Ear Wax Removal Services
Before your hearing test, it’s important to make sure your ears are clear of earwax. Earwax buildup can significantly affect the accuracy of the test results. You should ask if the clinic coming to visit offer this service as if they do not and you have a buildup of wax, they would be unable to perform the hearing test.
3. Reduce Ambient Noise
Turn off any noisy equipment in your home. The British Society of Audiology recommends keeping ambient noise below 35dBA during hearing tests to ensure accuracy. This includes turning off televisions, radios, and asking household members to be mindful of noise levels.
4. Keep an Open Mind
Finally, approach the test with an open mind. For many, especially those taking a hearing test for the first time, the diagnosis of hearing loss can come as a surprise. Being mentally prepared for any outcome is important.
What Happens at the Appointment
History and Preliminary Checks
The appointment begins with a discussion about your health history, particularly focusing on conditions related to your ears. This is followed by an otoscopy, an examination of the outer ear, which is crucial in identifying any physical abnormalities or blockages.
Ear Wax Removal
If necessary, ear wax removal will be conducted. This step is crucial to ensure that the hearing test can be performed accurately.
The Hearing Test
The core of the visit is the hearing test, typically conducted using pure tone audiometry. This test involves listening to a range of beeps and whistles (pure tones) and indicating when you can hear them. The results help the audiologist understand the specific nature of your hearing loss. Always remember your local NHS department may offer home visits so check before using a private service.
Results and Hearing Aid Trial
After the test, the audiologist will explain your results and, if needed, offer a trial of suitable hearing aids. This step is important as it allows you to experience how hearing aids can improve your quality of life.
What to Avoid Before Your Home Visit
Avoid Loud Noises
It’s recommended to avoid exposure to loud noises for at least 24 hours before your test. Loud noises can temporarily affect your hearing, leading to inaccurate test results.
Understanding the Basics of an Audiogram
Finally, it’s beneficial to have a basic understanding of an audiogram before your appointment. An audiogram is a graph that shows the results of your hearing test. It plots the softest sounds you can hear at various pitches. Familiarising yourself with this can aid in a better understanding of your hearing test results, as appointments can sometimes be brief and information-dense.
Preparing for a home visit hearing test involves a few simple but crucial steps. Being at home on time, ensuring your ears are clear of wax, reducing ambient noise, and having an open mind are key. The appointment itself is thorough, covering everything from ear health history to a practical hearing test, and possibly a hearing aid trial. Avoid loud noises before your visit and try to understand the basics of an audiogram to make the most out of your appointment. With these preparations, you can ensure a smooth and effective hearing test experience right in the comfort of your home.