A Step By Step Guide to Whole Person Hearing Assessments

A Step-by-Step Guide to Whole Person Hearing Assessments


Hearing is a fundamental aspect of human experience, influencing not only the ability to communicate but also overall well-being. The complexity of hearing, and its connection to other aspects of health, is often underestimated. At Soundfair Hearing Centre, we know that a comprehensive hearing assessment goes beyond checking a person’s ability to hear sounds. We take a holistic approach to whole person care. In this blog, we will provide you with a guide of what to expect from a hearing assessment that incorporates our belief that it is about more than just ears!

Step 1: Pre-Assessment Consultation

Before the hearing assessment begins, our Soundfair Hearing Centre audiologist will conduct an initial consultation to explore your communication needs and the effects the hearing condition has on you as a whole person. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on one’s emotional well-being and quality of life. This initial consultation includes a psychosocial evaluation to address any emotional or psychological factors related to hearing loss. This may involve questions about feelings of isolation, frustration, or anxiety related to hearing difficulties. This allows our audiologists to understand your hearing condition in the context of you as a whole person so we can best help you.

During this initial consultation your audiologist will also talk with you to gather essential information about your medical history, lifestyle, and any concerns you may have regarding your hearing. Your audiologist will also discuss factors such as exposure to loud noise, family history of hearing loss, tinnitus, and any existing medical conditions.

Step 2: Comprehensive Evaluation of Hearing

The next step involves a series of tests designed to evaluate your hearing thoroughly. Your audiologist will determine what is required depending on your circumstances. These tests may include:

  • Micro-suction Wax Removal – if required, this would be conducted prior to the assessment.
  • Otoscopy – the structures of the ear are examined such as the ear canal, ear drum, and middle ear using a magnifying light.
  • Pure Tone Audiometry: This test measures your ability to hear different tones at varying frequencies. You’ll be asked to wear headphones and respond when you hear a sound.
  • Speech Audiometry: This assesses your ability to hear and understand speech. You may be asked to repeat words or sentences at different volume levels.
  • Middle Ear Function Tests: These tests evaluate the health and function of the middle ear, including the eardrum and ossicles.

Step 3: Assessment of Communication Needs

As part of understanding your hearing loss, it is essential to assess how hearing loss impacts your daily life and communication abilities. At Soundfair Hearing Centre, your audiologist will ask questions about your experiences in various listening environments, such as noisy restaurants or group conversations. Understanding your communication needs allows for personalised recommendations and strategies tailored to your lifestyle.

Step 4: Counselling and Education

After the assessment, your audiologist will discuss the results with you and provide counselling and education about hearing health and management strategies. This may include guidance on hearing aid options, assistive listening devices, communication strategies, further referral pathways, and techniques for preserving hearing health.

If hearing aids and/or devices are an option for you, the audiologist will discuss the type of devices that could be beneficial for your hearing loss. At Soundfair Hearing Centre, we do this discussion collaboratively with you, so your needs and preferences are incorporated into the recommendations.

Step 5: Follow-Up and Continued Care

Hearing health is an ongoing journey that requires regular monitoring and support. Your audiologist will schedule follow-up appointments to track your progress, make any necessary adjustments to treatment plans, and address any new concerns that may arise. Additionally, they may recommend lifestyle changes or interventions to promote overall well-being and prevent further hearing loss.

A comprehensive hearing assessment at our Soundfair Hearing Centre goes beyond evaluating auditory function; it considers the whole person, addressing physical, emotional, and social aspects of well-being. By taking a holistic approach to hearing care, our audiologists can offer personalised interventions that improve not only hearing abilities, but also overall quality of life. Better hearing health starts with understanding and addressing the unique needs of your entire self! If you are experiencing hearing difficulties, book an appointment at Soundfair Hearing Centre by calling us on (03) 9510 1577 or email us at info@soundfair.org.au