What to Expect
- If you are coming to see Dr. Mercer for a hearing evaluation, you will receive paperwork to fill out before you come to the office. When you arrive you’ll be greeted by either Valerie or Venia and put at ease by our hypoallergenic service dog, Little Hawk, a loving golden doodle. (If you are uncomfortable with the dog, no worries! We understand. Just let the staff know and we’ll put him away for the duration of your visit! He, or we, won’t get our feelings hurt.)
- We’ll collect personal identifying information and your insurance cards to scan. We’ll likely have you pose for a photo, too! We love to put a face to a name and recognize you the next time you come. We don’t share your photo with anyone. It just helps us give you more personalized attention.
- Dr. Mercer rarely runs behind with her schedule, so you’ll be called back in a timely fashion. There won’t be time to watch an episode of your favorite show and only a short time to read your book. (If you aren’t seen on time, know it’s because someone before you needs just a little bit more time; if you need a bit more, you’ll get it too!)
- When Dr. Mercer calls you back, she’ll take a peek in your ears and sometimes even show you what she sees on the computer screen. If there is an abnormality, she’ll even take a photo and put it in your record to refer to in the future or to send to another physician.
- Once your ears have been visually inspected, your hearing will be tested. First, Dr. Mercer will perform tympanometry. This test helps her know the condition of the middle ear. It creates variations of pressure in the ear canal and helps her to determine the size of the ear canal and the mobility of the eardrum. While she is performing the test you will feel some pressure and hear a hum. It typically doesn’t hurt and isn’t uncomfortable.
- Next she will perform otoacoustic emissions. This is a test she performs on all NEW patients. A probe, like an earbud, is placed in your ear and you sit still and quiet. You will hear a series of tones, but you don’t need to respond. The probe sends sound into the ear and the amazing healthy inner ear will “send” sound back. We measure the sound waves that return. This test tells Dr. Mercer if the cells responsible for hearing high pitched sounds are healthy or not.
- After these tests, you will have a traditional hearing test. Dr. Mercer will place earphones in your ears and ask you to listen to different pitched sounds. You will press a clicker every time you hear beeps, even when they are very very soft. You’ll listen to words and repeat them, too.
- If your complaint is “I don’t hear well when there is background noise”, Dr. Mercer will perform a Speech in Noise test. You will listen to sentences with noise in the background and be asked to repeat the sentences. These tests will help us know how we can help you hear better.
Your Hearing Journey
Once these tests are completed you have officially begun your Journey to Better Hearing. The doctor will discuss the results and make recommendations for the next step of your Journey.