Skip to content

    Hearing Loss

    Font Size

    Severe Hearing Loss: Questions for Your Doctor

    Learning that you have significant hearing loss can be overwhelming. The first step is to visit an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to rule out any medical conditions that could be affecting your hearing. Next, you’ll want to work with an audiologist to learn which devices and strategies can help you manage your type of hearing loss.

    You can help your health care team by asking questions and sharing essential information about yourself.

    Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

    Improve Your Odds for a Long and Healthy Life

    You know the story: Somebody's 99-year-old aunt never exercised, smoked her whole life, and lived on a diet of red meat and ice cream. So why bother with healthy living, right? "For every one person who lives a long life of unhealthy choices, there are countless others who die prematurely because of them," says Robert Schreiber, MD. He's a doctor at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. No one is guaranteed a healthy life. But following certain guidelines -- namely, eating...

    Read the Improve Your Odds for a Long and Healthy Life article > >

    Questions for Your Health Care Team

    • How severe is my hearing loss? (mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, profound)
    • What type of hearing loss do I have? (conductive, sensorineural, mixed)
    • Is my hearing loss permanent?
    • Do I have trouble detecting sound, discriminating words, or both?
    • Are one or both ears affected?
    • Will my hearing get worse?
    • Is there medication that might help my hearing?
    • Am I a candidate for surgery to correct hearing loss?
    • Could I benefit from a cochlear implant?
    • Could I benefit from a hearing aid? Which types might work best for me?
    • Where can I find assistance in paying for these devices?
    • What other assistive listening devices might be helpful?
    • Where can I learn sign language?
    • Where can I learn about services like closed captioning and TTY?
    • Would I benefit from speech and language therapy?
    • What other communication improvement strategies should I know about?
    • Should I avoid certain activities?
    • Would I benefit from aural rehabilitation (listening therapy)?

    Information to Share With Your Health Care Team

    Your ENT doctor may want to see copies of your previous lab test results or MRI scans you may have already had. Be sure to find out what you should bring to the appointment before your office visit. If you haven't had any testing, your doctor may order MRI or CT scans of your ears.

    When you meet with a new ENT doctor or audiologist, it’s helpful to be prepared to share the following information with your hearing specialist:

    • Do you have any chronic medical conditions?
    • Do you take medications or dietary supplements on a regular basis?
    • Have you had any surgeries (such as weight loss surgery) or infections (such as an ear infection or meningitis) that may have damaged the ears?
    • Have you experienced any head trauma?
    • Have you been exposed to loud noises, including music?
    • Do you have a family history of hearing loss?
    • How much is hearing loss affecting your daily life?
    • Is it difficult to carry on a phone conversation?
    • Do you have trouble hearing the television?
    • Is it difficult to understand people when there is a lot of background noise?
    • Is it difficult to understand people even in a quiet room?
    • Do you have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds or voices?
    • Is hearing loss affecting your job?
    • Is hearing loss affecting your social life?
    • Is hearing loss affecting other important activities in your life?
    • Do you feel frustrated, isolated, or depressed?

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.