Meeting your audiologist for the first time can be intimidating. You are unsure about what has happened to your hearing, and you are worried about the repercussions hearing loss could have on the rest of your life. You will also have a thousand questions racing through your mind. Thankfully, any decent audiologist will be able to answer these questions without you needing to ask them, but it is still worth focusing on a few key questions that can give you a better idea of what to expect. 

Why am I experiencing hearing loss?

This question is the most obvious one that you need to ask when attending an audiology appointment. Most people associate hearing loss with old age, but this is not always the case, and if you are under 50 years old, you will want to know why you are currently experiencing hearing loss. Your audiologist will be able to answer this question for you, explaining possible reasons and carrying out tests to identify why you are unable to hear as clearly as you once did. 

Is my hearing loss the same in both ears?

Hearing loss does not always affect both ears, and knowing if your hearing loss is ‘the same’ in both ears will go a long way towards identifying suitable treatment options. Depending on the reasons for your hearing loss, whether through old age, illness or even lifestyle, your audiologist will have the tools to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss in one ear or both. They might find that, while your hearing loss is in both ears, one is experiencing more severe loss than the other. 

Can I prevent my hearing loss from getting worse? 

Learning that you are experiencing hearing loss can cause you to panic and even feel depressed. However, this is why the audiologist is there to help you prevent further damage to your hearing. Your audiologist will ask you several questions about your lifestyle and job, including whether you listen to music loudly on headphones or work in noisy environments. If this is the case, they will recommend ways that you can prevent your hearing loss from getting worse, such as turning the volume down (or not wearing headphones at all) or wearing earplugs or ear defenders in loud areas. 

Is my hearing loss permanent? 

Many people believe that hearing loss is permanent, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, hearing loss can occur from mild tinnitus or blockages in the ear canal. In these instances, your hearing may return to its normal state after a while following appropriate treatment. Once your audiologist determines the reasons for hearing loss, they will give you a better idea of whether or not it is permanent. 

Getting answers

It can be easy to forget to ask every question you have when attending a hearing loss appointment. But, if you remember anything at all, make sure that you ask these four questions. Doing so will give you the answers you need to feel more confident and comfortable about your hearing loss and the procedures your audiologist will consider to help improve your quality of life.