Hearing loss can affect anyone, from young children to older adults. It can occur at any time during your life and be temporary or permanent. Left untreated, hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on your mental and physical health. When you experience hearing loss, seeing an audiologist can help you figure out what to do next and your options.

When you first see an audiologist, having a list of questions can help you get the most from your appointment and subsequent treatment.

What type of hearing loss do you have?

There are three different types of hearing loss you might be experiencing;

  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Occurs when there is damage to the inner ear and nerve pathways and is often permanent.
  • Conductive hearing loss: Often caused by a blockage in the ear such as ear wax build-up or a tumor. Hearing is usually restored once proper treatment is received.
  • Mixed hearing loss: A combination of both of the above, and you can have either one or both simultaneously.

Is the hearing loss the same in both ears?

Hearing loss can be different in both ears, much like your eyes can have other prescriptions if you need to wear glasses. Or you may have hearing loss in one ear.

Do you need hearing aids?

According to the Better Hearing Institute, around 90% of patients will need hearing aids in both ears. Hearing loss can impact your life in many different ways, especially if you have lost your hearing gradually due to age or external factors. Always ask if your audiologist recommends hearing aids and if you need them for both ears.

What type of hearing aid is best?

Hearing aids come with a range of specific features and designs for various situations and requirements. These days, there are many different styles of hearing aids utilizing the best in technology. Ask your audiologist what type of hearing aid they recommend for your lifestyle. Based on your daily activities and listening habits, they can use their expertise and knowledge to find the right style of hearing aid for you.

How long do hearing aids last?

Again, the longevity of your hearing aids will depend on your lifestyle, the device you choose, and how you care for your hearing aids. But it is reasonable to expect that they won't last a lifetime and will need to be replaced at some point. Typically hearing aids older than five years are considered outdated technology-wise.

What care is involved?

Daily maintenance of hearing aids is critical to keeping them in optimal condition. They should be wiped off with a dry towel and inspected for any potential issues developing, such as clogged or cracked tubing or damage to the outer unit. Your audiologist can also provide thorough cleanings routinely throughout the year.

Asking as many questions as possible for your audiology appointment can help you get the most from your consultation. Write down some questions you feel you need answering before your appointment so you can get all of the answers you need at once.