Here’s What to Expect When You See an Audiologist - Chicago ENT

Here’s What to Expect When You See an Audiologist

Are you scheduled to see an audiologist? You may be anxious about what will happen during your appointment or whether any of the tests will cause you pain.

Knowing what to expect can help you feel at ease and prepare for your upcoming appointment. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect when you see an audiologist and what happens during your appointment.

What is an Audiologist?

An audiologist is a medical professional who diagnoses, treats and manages hearing and balance disorders. They can treat hearing loss, tinnitus, balance issues, earwax buildup, and infections.

What Happens at Your Audiologist Appointment?

Audiologist appointments are entirely pain-free, so there’s no need to be nervous. If your audiologist appointment at Chicago ENT is coming up, here’s what to expect.

Obtaining Medical Information

Your audiologist will first learn about your background. They’ll want to know about your medical and family history.

Your audiologist must be aware of any allergies, pre-existing health conditions, past injuries, previous procedures, and hearing impairment in your family. Hearing problems could be related to your family and health history.

Your audiologist will also gather information about your work situation, hobbies, and lifestyle choices to determine whether you’re exposed to loud noises. Additionally, you’ll be asked about any medications you’re on, including prescribed, over-the-counter supplements and vitamins.

Some drug interactions can cause side effects related to hearing problems. It may help to list down your medication before your appointment, including dosage and how often you take them.

That way, you can make sure you provide accurate information. Giving a clear picture of your family and medical history, background, and medications you take can help your audiologist identify the root cause of your hearing problems. It may also have a bearing on the treatment plan recommended by your audiologist.

Discussing Your Hearing

Discussing your hearing is an essential part of your consultation with your audiologist. It gives your audiologist detailed information about your auditory health over time, which can help them understand any present challenges you may be facing. 

Your audiologist will want to understand the issues you’re experiencing. They may want to know if there are certain sounds that you struggle with more than others or whether there are times you find it harder to hear than others.

Many patients find it challenging to remember this information in the middle of their appointment, so jot down any symptoms you have before your appointment. Also include environments or situations in which you have trouble hearing.

Be ready to discuss your symptoms comprehensively, including what they are, how long you’ve had them, and how often they occur. Remember to share how your hearing challenges are impacting your everyday life.

Also, remember to let your audiologist know about any ear-related problems, such as surgery, injury to your ear, or repeated infections. You want to ensure that all aspects of your hearing health are covered.

Hearing Tests

Your audiologist will also run a range of standard tests to evaluate your hearing. These essential tests will bring you closer to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan so you can feel better sooner. The tests may include:


An otoscopy test involves looking inside your ear canals with an instrument called an otoscope. Your audiologist will check your ear for blockages and structural abnormalities that could be affecting your hearing, such as a buildup of dirt, wax, or debris, ear canal problems, or eardrum infection or damage.


Tympanometry tests middle ear function and checks how your eardrum responds to pressure changes. The middle ear is found behind your eardrum, which is also called the tympanic membrane.

For this test, your audiologist will insert a tiny probe resembling an earphone into each ear. Then, a device called a tympanometer attached to the probe will send air into your ear.

You’ll need to remain still during the test, as coughing, moving, laughing, and even swallowing can interfere with the results. The tympanometer will form a graph known as a tympanogram, showing how your eardrum moves.

Test results may suggest you have:

  • Middle ear infection
  • Growths in the middle ear
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Earwax blocking the eardrum
  • A tear or perforation in the eardrum
  • Higher than normal middle ear pressure
  • Scarring of the eardrum, often due to frequent ear infections
  • Ossicles or tiny bones in the middle ear that are not moving as they should


Audiometry is done in a soundproof room. It entails using a machine called an audiometer that plays sounds through headphones.

The test measures your ability to hear sounds at different pitches.

During this test, you’ll wear a set of headphones.

Sounds will then be played through the headphones at different volumes and pitches in one ear at a time. This is done to establish the ear in which you can hear the sound and the quietest sound you can listen to.

Your audiologist will ask you to react to the sounds you hear by pressing a button or raising your hand. The noises will be soft and indicate your level of hearing loss.

Your audiologist may also ask you to wear a device known as a bone oscillator behind each ear. The bone oscillator vibrates to send sound to your inner ear, and you’ll respond every time you hear a sound.

The test can diagnose your hearing loss and show the kind of hearing loss you have. It can further distinguish whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears.

Talking About Your Results

Unlike many other tests, hearing tests require immediate evaluation and review. Once you’ve had your hearing tested, your Chicago ENT audiologist will discuss the results with you.

If you have a hearing issue and the cause is treatable, such as fluid in your ear or too much earwax, your audiologist will discuss the available treatment options with you. If you have significant hearing loss, your audiologist may suggest hearing aids.

When that’s the case, they’ll discuss all your options, provide detailed information about how hearing aids work, supply demonstrations, answer any questions, and arrange a follow-up appointment for a hearing aid fitting. Your audiologist may also recommend lifestyle changes that can prevent further deterioration due to hearing challenges and improve your quality of life.

Protect Your Hearing

If you’re having problems with your hearing, our experienced audiologists can help. They’ll assess your hearing, offer advice, and provide the best treatment options to restore your hearing health.

Are you experiencing hearing difficulties? Schedule your appointment today at Chicago ENT at one of our five locations and improve your life!


Chicago ENT has six convenient locations throughout the greater Chicago area. For the exact location and/or directions, simply click on the map next to your desired location. To book an appointment, call 773-296-5500 to speak to a scheduler or conveniently online 24/7.

Advanced Center for Specialty Care
3000 N. Halsted Street, Suite #400
Chicago, IL  60657

Phone: 773-296-5500

Office hours:
Monday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Allergy Shot Clinic hours:
Monday 8:30 am -4 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am - 1:30 pm
Wednesday 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Thursday 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday 9 am- 11:30 am
*Shot appointments are by appointment only
*All patient’s are required to wait 30 minutes after receiving allergy shot(s)

Map of the Chicago ENT Lincoln Park Location

St. Mary’s Hospital Professional Building
2222 W. Division Street,
Suite #330
Chicago, IL  60622

Phone: 773-296-5500
Map of the Chicago ENT Bucktown Location

8930 Gross Point Road,
Suite #700
Skokie, IL 60077

Phone: 773-262-4110
Map of the Chicago ENT Skokie Location

2740 W. Foster,
Suite #405
Chicago, IL 60625

Phone: 773-296-5500
Map of the Chicago ENT Chicago North Location

2522 W. Peterson Avenue
Chicago, IL 60659

Phone: 773-262-4110
Map of the Chicago ENT Peterson Location

St. Joseph Ascension Health Outpatient Pavilion
2845 N. Sheridan Rd,
Suite #807
Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: 773-296-5500
Map of the Chicago ENT Lakeview Location