What to Ask Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Loss

patient having discussion with hearing specialist

When you notice that your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, you decide it’s time to consult an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. That’s a smart move. If you ignore your hearing loss, you are at risk of other health issues, such as dementia and depression. 

There are likely to be three parts to your initial hearing test:

When your hearing care professional explains your test results, it’s your turn to ask questions about hearing loss. Below are some of the basics, which you can print and take with you (or show it on your phone) so you can ask your audiologist.

1. What kind of hearing loss do I have?

Knowing what type of hearing loss you have can help determine the type of treatment you need and how you can safeguard your remaining hearing.

2. Is the hearing loss the same in both ears?

It’s not uncommon for your hearing levels to change differently in each ear. If you know the different levels, any aids can be adjusted by your hearing health professional.

3. Is a hearing aid for each ear necessary?

Ask your hearing health care provider if both ears need hearing aids, even if you think so. In some cases, you might not, but in others, they can explain why amplification makes sound easier for your brain to understand. Even if you require two hearing aids rather than one, do not lose heart. 

4. Is there a hearing aid suitable for me and my lifestyle based on the type of hearing loss I have?

Currently, there are several types and styles of hearing aids available on the market, each with particular features to meet the needs of specific types of hearing loss and unique lifestyles. In order to recommend the best hearing device for you, your hearing healthcare professional will need to know more about your daily activities and listening environment. Consider what you enjoy doing on a daily and weekly basis, as well as your work environment and social situations. When the time comes, you can feel confident that you have covered all the bases.

5. If I purchase hearing aids, will I have any additional costs?

Purchasing a hearing aid can include follow-up care through many hearing centers. Adjustments, battery replacements, and check-ups may be included in the price at some hearing centers, but not at others. Budget for remaining costs if needed by making sure you understand what is included.

6. What is the expected life expectancy of these hearing aids?

Hearing aids wear out over time, just like any other piece of electronic equipment. A hearing healthcare professional can provide you with a good idea of your hearing aid lifespan, but nobody knows for sure how long it will last. By asking this question, you open up another opportunity to discuss how to properly care for your hearing devices and how best to maximize their performance and life.

These questions should help you when you see your hearing health professional. Do you have any other questions that you think should be included? Please share some in the comments below.