Audiologist and patient discussing hearing consultation

What to Ask During a Hearing Consultation

If you’ve just booked an appointment for a hearing consultation, congratulations! Many Americans wait five to seven years to seek treatment for hearing loss. You are taking the first step towards improved hearing and our team of audiologists here at The Hearing Health Center of Houston is excited to help you.

You have now put yourself on the road to better overall health. Untreated hearing loss could result in hypertension, an increased risk of stroke, increased risk of falling, with extended hospital stays if you get injured, and other problems such as depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some tips about what to ask to ensure you get the most out of your appointment.

What is the nature of my hearing loss?

You may have a general understanding that hearing others is more challenging now than it used to be but you may wonder just what kind of hearing loss you have.

Of the major types of hearing loss a progressive reduction in hearing capacity, found in the inner ear’s sensitive tissues, is most common and this form of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss.

If this is the type of loss you have you will still want to find out more. For example, is your hearing loss the same in both ears in both ears or do you have a “bad ear”? Is there a specific type of sound, such as a child’s voice, which may be more challenging for you than other sounds? Are there certain places or types of sound that are tougher for you to comprehend?

Do hearing aids cure my hearing loss?

Once your hearing test results arrive the audiologist will recommend some hearing aid options.

You’re going to want to consider the type, features, and price of the different choices. If you have any preferences be sure to mention them as soon as possible to your audiologist as they can influence the kinds of devices you are recommended.

For example, if you have arthritis or mobility issues in your hands you will most likely want devices that can accommodate your needs. Be sure to ask about the balance between price and functionality within the range of options available to you since not all features will be useful for your particular needs.

Do I need a hearing aid for each ear?

With most types of hearing loss two hearing aids (one for each ear) are the best treatment option. While you think you can hear very well from one of your ears bilateral hearing loss is quite common and affects both ears.

Not only will you hear better from both ears while you wear two hearing aids but you’ll also get enhanced binaural listening and your brain will have an easier time perceiving all the sounds around you. You are going to have greater spatial awareness and identify sounds quickly determining exactly where a sound comes from known as localization of the sound. This is a very important function that will help your balance and keep you stay safe when walking or driving and reduce your risk of accidents.

How do I look after my hearing aids?

If you’ve decided on a pair of hearing aids you will want to keep them in optimal working order. It is important to use cleaning procedures such as wax removal and other daily tasks to ensure that your hearing aids are ready for you when you need them.

Very few hearing aids are water-resistant and, while some have been designed to withstand a limited amount of water immersion, most hearing aids are susceptible to moisture so you’ll want to understand how to clean and store your hearing aids properly. If you are unsure it is better to ask your audiologist and err on the side of caution.

What are the financing options?

Many private insurance companies pay either partially or completely for hearing aids. Besides, there are easy payment options through Wells Fargo Bank or care credit for small monthly instalment payments.  Hearing aids are an investment in your well being and quality of life and not an expense.

The Hearing Health Center of Houston

Our team of doctors of Audiology is here to support you on your journey to better hearing. We provide comprehensive hearing health services from initial hearing tests to hearing aid fittings to custom hearing protection and cochlear implants should your hearing loss be severe enough not to benefit from hearing aids. If you have noticed changes in your hearing, contact us today to schedule a hearing consultation.