Visiting an audiologist is a great decision if you are dealing with hearing loss or another audiologic condition. The impact on your lifestyle can be great, which is why it’s essential to seek advice and help from people who understand how to initiate the next steps.
Whether it’s learning how to cope naturally or getting a device fitted, an appointment will make everything clearer. Of course, this doesn’t mean you must sit and listen to what the audiologist has to say without participating in the conversation. It’s your body, and you need to know how the process will impact you and what you should expect.
To do this, you should ask questions that will broaden your understanding of the subject. Sadly, not enough patients believe in questioning their audiologist, and it leads to issues in the long term. Thankfully, you can swerve that mistake by being proactive. Here are four questions that will help.
What kind of hearing loss do I have?
The type of hearing loss that you have will determine what treatment you choose to deal with it. For instance, the most common type of hearing loss is called “sensorineural,” impacting a large percentage of the millions of Americans who experience problems with their ears. For this, you would usually prefer an in-the-ear (ITE) or in-the-canal (ITC) device because of how it interacts with the ear’s tiny hair cells.
On the other hand, conductive hearing loss is a structural problem that can cause sounds to be muted. As a result, you might require a different type of hearing equipment to allow noises to travel unimpeded. Also, the more you know about the hearing loss that impacts you, the better you can adapt.
Purchasing an aid isn’t the end of the journey. You will need to make changes to your lifestyle, too. Understanding how hearing loss affects social situations should mean you can limit the damage.
How do hearing aids help?
This is probably the most important question to ask when you attend your appointment. Why? It’s because people often see hearing aids as magic bullets. Once they have one fitted, it’s as if they’ll never have any issues with their ears again. But, this isn’t the case as nothing is infallible, including hearing aids.
Of course, this doesn’t mean they can’t help you – they can when used correctly. By working out what aids are designed to do, you can ensure they are on hand when you need them the most. For example, there are limits to the power of a device’s amplification. Therefore, you will need to adjust to the fact that your hearing won’t be 100% perfect.
Plus, certain types of issues make hearing aids ineffective. Opting for one in these cases would be a waste as they wouldn’t be able to convert large vibrations into neural signals.
How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Maintenance is vital as you can’t use broken devices. As hearing aids are industrial, they can succumb to wear and tear, as well as build-ups of dirt and grime. There is also the fact that the plastic coating isn’t indestructible, so you’ll need to keep them out of harm’s way as much as possible.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider regarding hearing aid maintenance. Thankfully, your audiologist will have the skill and experience to highlight the best practices. A great tip they will offer is to open the battery door to prevent moisture from building up. Another savvy tip is to turn them off at night.
The less you use them unnecessarily, the longer the devices will last as there will be fewer signs of wear and tear. The nighttime is an ideal situation to give them respite as you don’t need to hear noises in your sleep.
Do hearing aids work instantly?
You can gauge whether an audiologist is good at their job with this simple question. A top advisor will tell you that while you should detect improvements in the future, it can take a while before they occur.
This is due to a transition period. If you’ve never worn hearing aids before, they won’t feel comfortable for the first couple of weeks.
However, once you get to grips with the technology and the way they feel, you should notice positive changes. People who understand this quickly won’t be disappointed and won’t dismiss their devices as soon as they run into problems.
Do you deal with hearing loss daily? At Albuquerque Hearing and Balance, we offer alternative tests as we understand that not all loss is created equally. By calling 505-890-0003, you can learn more about the process and the potential impacts it might have on your lifestyle.