Today, there are more than three million Canadians who are reportedly suffering from hard of hearing. This can be a horrific change in your life after many years of being able to successfully listen to classical music, the nightly news, or your spouse complain about the day at the office.
You have likely consulted your family doctor about this. He or she may have referred you to an audiologist. It’s up to you now to confirm an appointment.
But before you enter the premise, it is important to know a few things. The lives of audiologists would be a lot easier and less complicated – yours as well! – if their patients understood a few things first.
Here are five things audiologists want you to know about hearing loss:
1. Always Bring Background Info to Clinic
The preliminary process of locating an audiologist doesn’t need to be difficult. Your general physician will refer you to one, or you have search for an audiologist and ask for a referral from your family doctor. After this has been done, you will book an appointment.
Here is what is important to remember: you need to bring background information to the hearing clinic on your first visit.
It is true that your primary care provider will send over some of the documents, files, and records to the audiologist. However, it is still crucial to bring anything else that is important to your first visit to the clinic.
When you speak with the receptionist, just ask what you should bring with you.
2. Determine What Your Hearing Needs Are
Before you head over the audiology office, you need to sit down and determine what exactly your hearing needs are. By identifying these problems, you won’t be fiddling around and wasting time with the audiologist. You can just outline what is wrong.
For instance, you might have a hard time hearing on the telephone. Or, as another example, you can hear a man’s voice, but you can’t hear a child’s voice.
It is little things like these that can make a world of difference for your treatment.
3. Practice Your Hearing After Treatment
One thing that audiologists often recommend, and wish patients would do more of, is actually practice their hearing after several treatments or when they’ve been given a new hearing aid.
Simply put: you’re taking your hearing for a test drive.
Here are several things many audiologists will recommend:
- Participate in group conversations.
- Use a telephone and try to have discussions.
- Sit in your home in silence and try to pick up sounds.
- Have a face-to-face conversation with someone.
- Watch television or listen to the radio.
By performing these minor chores, you can see if your hearing has improved or worsened.
4. Adjust to the Conditions
When your hearing has slightly deteriorated, you need to adapt and adjust to the conditions.
If you are at a busy shopping mall with a spouse or friend, you should be closer to that person to hear what they’re saying and ask them to speak louder. Or, pay attention to physical reactions and facial expressions to facilitate in your listening.
It is little things like these that can definitely reduce the frustrations of not hearing properly.
5. Hearing Loss Could Lead to Something Greater
Unfortunately, studies have found a correlation between hearing loss and dementia. Audiologists rarely jump to such conclusions, but there is always a risk or a concern that hearing loss might lead to something greater.
Should you experience any minor change in your hearing, you need to ensure nothing is wrong right away. Book an appointment with your family doctor, get tests done, and do your best to keep your hearing intact.
Audiologists understand how frustrating it can be to lose your hearing, or, at the very least, gradually witness your hearing dwindle. You can’t watch the news, you can’t listen to a Wagner opera, you can’t hear what your grandchildren are saying.
However, audiologists want you to be aware of a few things before you have your first appointment. Otherwise, you may have a completely different experience than what you had initially imagined and this could lead to disappointment.