Are you finding yourself straining to hear better?

Are you avoiding social interactions because you have a difficult time following conversation?

Does your spouse or family complain the television is too loud?

If you answer yes to these questions, you are likely part of the American population of 48 million strong who suffer from hearing loss.

The good thing is that you’re not alone.

The better thing is that there are professionals who can help you say “no” to those three questions.

Identifying hearing loss

Hearing healthcare professionals like audiologists are trained in identifying and treating hearing loss. Audiologists have extensive training and skills enabling them to evaluate the hearing of adults, infants and children of all ages.

To evaluate one’s hearing loss, audiologists rely on a battery of non-invasive tests to determine the exact type and degree of hearing loss.

The most common test an audiologist performs is audiometry. Audiometry produces a graphic record of one’s hearing, called an audiogram. From the audiogram, the audiologist will be able to determine the best type of hearing loss solutions for your type and degree of hearing loss. He or she will then suggest hearing aids, cochlear implants or other assistive listening devices that will help you hear better.

Questions for your audiologist

The entire process is quite simple; however it is important to arm yourself with a list of questions you may have about your hearing loss and the type of hearing loss solution an audiologist suggests.

Some questions to ask include:

  1. What type of hearing loss do I have? Will it get worse?
  2. Are there many types of hearing loss solutions available for my hearing loss? What’s the difference between them?
  3. Will my insurance cover my hearing aids?
  4. Are there precautions I should take while wearing my hearing aids?
  5. How can I help my friends and family better communicate with me?
  6. What caused my hearing loss? Is it genetic?

Make sure to write down your questions — appointments often cause people to get flustered and forget what they wanted to know. It is likely that during your appointment, you will have additional questions. Arming yourself with pen and paper can help you remember what the audiologist said.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the audiologist is available to help you and looks forward to finding a solution to help individuals hear better. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can begin enjoying the birds, sounds of your grandchildren and dinner parties.