4 Questions to Ask your Audiologist
Even when you suspect you have some hearing loss, it’s not always easy to take the step forward and make an appointment with an audiologist. It’s one thing to suspect something and another thing to have it confirmed, right? But it’s always better to get on the path to solutions. Once you’ve set up your appointment, there are some important questions to ask your audiologist. Here are some of those questions.
1. What caused my hearing loss?
There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. The first, sensorineural, means there is damage to the inner ear or damage to the nerves that pass sound from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss usually is permanent. The second type, conductive hearing loss, means that sound isn’t travelling from the outer ear to the eardrum. This can be due to allergies, an infection, an earwax impaction or other blockage or a tumor. Usually, removing the blockage restores hearing. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the first two types. Your audiologist can tell you which type of hearing loss you have.
2. Is my hearing loss the same in both ears?
When some amount of hearing is lost in both ears, this is known as bilateral hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can be equal in each ear or one ear may have a greater loss than the other. Bilateral hearing loss is commonly due to age, noise exposure, medication or heredity. It’s usually sensorineural in nature. Recent studies have concluded that your ears hear differently – in other words, the left ear works best at receiving music, emotion and intuition while the right ear receives speech and logic. This information may help you when it comes to interpreting what friends and family have to say.
3. Will I need two hearing aids or can I wear just one?
Unless you have a very mild hearing loss or none at all, it’s likely you will need to wear hearing aids in both ears. Improving your hearing in each ear allows you to target where the sound is coming from and differentiate it from background noise. The majority of people with sensorineural or mixed hearing loss see a greater improvement in hearing with two hearing aids.
4. What is included in the cost of my hearing aids?
Many audiologists include follow-up care as a package when you purchase hearing aids. This generally means that all your additional visits are covered as well as batteries, cleaning and minor repairs. Your hearing aids will come with a warranty, usually two years, with an option to purchase an extended warranty. You’ll want to check with your insurance company to see if there is any coverage. It’s also important to get details about any trial period and/or returns.
These important questions to ask your audiologist will help you better understand your hearing loss and how hearing aids can assist you.