Your hearing is one of your most important senses, and it is essential to investigate any unusual changes in the quality of your hearing or any other problematic symptoms. Fortunately, a hearing clinic can provide you with valuable insights into the condition of your hearing faculties. It’s essential, however, to know how best to approach your physician and what inquiries can ensure you have all your bases covered.
We’ll give you some of the most important questions to ask while you’re at the hearing clinic to make sure that your auditory concerns are identified and addressed.
1. Is This Normal?
The first question you should ask your hearing clinic is whether the symptoms you are experiencing are typical. Often, people put up with uncomfortable or even painful conditions assuming that it’s just a normal part of aging.
Explain your symptoms or odd occurrences to a hearing clinic doctor so that they can rule out the possibility of any severe medical conditions. Even fairly common occurrences such as tinnitus can be indicative of some medical conditions if other bodily symptoms are present. You mustn’t dismiss any potential hearing problems as transient or part of everyday life; doing so can make treatment more difficult if there is an issue.
2. What Does This Mean?
Doctors deal with a lot of jargon in their field of work, and it can be challenging to distill complex medical information into layman’s terms. That’s why you should clarify with your hearing clinic that you fully understand your diagnosis and the potential complications of any symptoms.
It can be all too easy to leave the hearing clinic without firmly grasping the meaning of what your caregiver tells you. As such, be sure to ask, “What does this mean?” to ascertain the simple definition of your condition, if applicable, and what you need to do about it.
Your hearing clinic physician is there for you, so if there are any confusing concepts you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask. They will be happy to break it down for you and explain any terms that are foreign to you.
3. What Are My Options?
If you’ve been diagnosed with an auditory condition or loss of function, your doctor will likely recommend a course of action toward recovery. Understanding your options through the simple question: “what are my options?” can help you choose something that is best for your needs.
After all, different treatment approaches may require additional commitments or may come with a degree of risk that you should consider. Ask your hearing clinic physician for a detailed breakdown of your options so that you understand what you can expect moving forward.
Common Treatment Options
Depending on your diagnosis, there may be a range of options available to treat your condition, including the following:
- Assessment – Understanding your capability to process sounds or determining the extent of your hearing capacity is critical for audiologists to plan the next steps. Appraisals are usually necessary and may consist of physical examinations such as using electrodes to monitor brain activity or, quite simply, examining the inner ear for blockages. Your audiologist may also evaluate your hearing ability in different scenarios, such as sounds with background noise or rapid speech.
- Auditory Training – Some conditions affect the brain-to-ear connection, causing the brain to have difficulty recognizing or processing sounds. These can be treated, in part, via auditory training, which helps patients identify sound sources, focus on individual sounds, and notice differences in sound.
- Hearing Aids – Commonly prescribed for hearing loss, hearing aids might be part of your treatment plan. Consult with your audiologist to find a hearing aid that works best for your needs.
- Surgery – In some cases, surgery might be necessary to address the root cause of your condition.
A combination of these approaches may be necessary for treatment. Ask your audiologist what their suggestions entail, how much it will cost, and how long the recovery time will be.
4. What Should I Expect Afterwards?
A hearing clinic physician can help you understand what to expect after treatment to return to normalcy. These may include common symptoms following a procedure, commonly reported issues with hearing devices, or how your auditory training will differ from real-world scenarios. They will also identify what symptoms you should be on the lookout for that may signal complications—and thus necessitate a return to the hearing clinic.
Your audiologist will explain your treatment options and their aftereffects at the hearing clinic, but you will usually need to take some active steps to ensure that treatment goes smoothly. For auditory processing disorder, for example, you will likely need to go through numerous training sessions to teach your brain to recognize sounds.
You will likely need to apply these sounds in a real-world setting after treatment. The same question, “What should I expect afterward?” also applies to treatments like hearing aids. You will need to know how to use the hearing aids, how often to check in with the audiologist, and what hearing aid problems to be on the lookout for to report to your audiologist.
5. How Can I Reduce the Risk of Complications?
Lastly, you’ll want to consult with your hearing clinician to ask how to reduce your risk of complications in the future. Some treatments and procedures come with identifiable risks that you can be on the lookout for.
Your audiologist can also help you avoid situations that could further damage your ears, such as using earbuds with loud music or attending loud concerts. Ask your doctor about potential risks so that you can take active steps to avoid them and protect your hearing in the long run.
The Bottom Line
A hearing clinic can diagnose and treat auditory issues that could be causing you stress or discomfort. Knowing what questions to ask can give you peace of mind that you are making the right decision for your auditory health in the long run.
Identifying problematic symptoms, treatment methods, and after-treatment risks are all important. Hopefully, these questions have given you a good starting point to feel confident going to your hearing clinic seeking answers.