4 Questions to Ask Your Audiologist

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

It can be hard to come to terms with hearing loss. If you find yourself in this situation, you will most likely require the services of an audiologist to help you assess your hearing and give you options on what happens next.

An audiologist can assist you in determining the nature of the problem, the severity of the problem, and the best way to care for your ears to prevent further damage. 

To get the most from your consultation, you need to make sure you ask the right questions about how they will treat your hearing loss going forward.

What type of hearing loss do I have?

Knowing the type of hearing loss you have sustained can help you understand the nature of the hearing loss and whether it is temporary or permanent. Some people will be born profoundly deaf or lose all of their hearing due to an accident or illness. Others may find their hearing goes with age – more common in the over 50s or due to external factors such as being around loud noises. Your hearing loss can also be temporary due to a blockage in the ear or a tumor and will return to normal once this has been resolved.

Do I need hearing aids?

Hearing aids are a valuable tool in helping people regain some or all of their hearing. When you visit your audiologist, ask them if you need hearing aids and what the procedure is going forward. For temporary hearing loss, hearing aids might not be applicable. If you require a hearing aid fitting, your audiologist will talk you through your next steps and what you can expect from your follow-up appointments and hearing aids fittings.

Can I prevent any further hearing loss?

While losing your hearing isn’t something you want to happen, knowing how to prevent further hearing loss can help you preserve your residual hearing. An audiologist will ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle and job, such as whether you listen to music loudly on headphones or if you work in an extremely noisy environment. If this is the case, they will suggest ways to prevent your hearing loss from becoming worse, such as turning down the volume on your headphones (or not wearing them at all) and wearing earplugs or ear defenders in noisy environments.

Do I need a hearing aid?

The audiologist will conduct a hearing test to determine if any loss is present. Once these evaluations are completed, your audiologist will discuss the best treatment options for your particular needs. Hearing aids are the most common treatment if hearing loss is detected and come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. The most common include: in the ear (ITE), behind the ear (BTE) and in the canal (ITC).

Before you head to your first audiology appointment, it might be worth writing down some questions you want to help you get the most from the appointment and be clear about your next steps.