Many people are reluctant to seek treatment when they begin experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss, but the truth is that this condition is fairly common. Hearing loss tends to become more prevalent as we age, but it can be a problem at any stage in life. Audiologists often can provide simple solutions to improve the hearing ability of their patients. Patients should seek the guidance of an audiologist sooner rather than later because it can really only improve their quality of life. However, this can seem intimidating and many patients may not know what to discuss during such an appointment.
What Type Of Hearing Loss Am I Experiencing?
There are a few types of hearing loss, which include sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is most often permanent because it is the result of structural differences within the ear, but devices can be utilized to ease the symptoms of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss indicates that sound waves aren’t traveling properly through the ear, often because of a blockage. Finally, mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Knowing about the type of hearing loss that you are experiencing can help you to understand the duration of the symptoms and treatment options that are available to you. This information can also help you understand if the problem will continue to worsen or remain about the same, which may affect the frequency of appointments. An additional reason for knowing the type of hearing loss is that some hearing problems do have a genetic component that may be relevant to relatives.
Is My Hearing Loss In Both Ears?
It is entirely possible to experience hearing loss in only one ear, or to experience various levels of hearing loss in each ear. This may mean that you will only need treatment, whether that means blockage removal or wearing a hearing aid, for one ear rather than both. In the event that both ears are experiencing hearing loss but at different rates, hearing aids can be adjusted to the appropriate settings individually.
What Do I Need to Know About Hearing Devices?
Aside from hearing aids, there are many devices that can help people with significant hearing loss to function in their daily lives. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your audiologist about these devices and how to use them. It is also perfectly acceptable to ask questions about the cost and maintenance of various hearing devices. This will help you to understand what costs insurance may cover, how often you will need to follow-up, and other concerns.