If you’re like some people, talking with your doctor can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially when discussing a condition you’re unfamiliar with. When you find yourself preparing to enter one of these situations, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the information you need to understand your health. Here are 3 questions you need to make sure you’re asking your audiologist.
First Thing’s First
Prior to an appointment with your audiologist, it’s important to understand what you can expect. Have you been to the audiologist before? Has your hearing impairment already been diagnosed? If your condition has been diagnosed, so some research; if undiagnosed, you can still do some general research so you understand the different parts of the ear so terminology won’t seem to foreign when you meet with your doctor.
Whatever your level of understanding, you need to be sure you have the answers to these 3 questions from your audiologist.
1. What is my degree of hearing loss?
There are four main degrees of hearing loss: mild loss, moderate loss, severe loss, and profound loss. Understanding your hearing loss will help you understand your limitations and be aware of the sounds you may not realize you’re missing. Also, knowing your particular type of hearing loss will help you work better with your audiologist to create a plan moving forward, and to better understand what your doctor is talking about as you discuss your options.
2. Is this loss of hearing permanent or temporary?
Depending on the cause of your hearing loss, there may be a chance of reversal or improvement over time. For example, if your hearing loss is the result of an ear infection, when the infection clears, your hearing should be restored. Hearing loss that happens gradually tends to have a greater chance of being permanent.
3. What, if anything, can we do to improve my hearing?
Even when permanent hearing loss is present, there is a chance for improvement, however, this improvement likely won’t restore your hearing. Hearing aids are an excellent option for most people with any type of hearing loss, and with so many advancements in hearing aid technology, hearing aids are more effective than ever before. Depending on the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing, you can work with your audiologist to create a plan to help remedy this impairment, or perhaps give you other options that will help you communicate with others even when you lack the ability to hear.
Prepare the best you can for your appointment with an audiologist and ask for clarification when you don’t understand the terminology or procedures being explained—your audiologist in MA is here to help. Knowledge is power, and understanding your hearing impairment will help you find guidance and answers in treating it.