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.
Patients often have trouble talking to their doctors. It can be hard to get the words out when the topic is emotionally charged or one you’d never bring up in polite conversation.
And for various reasons, sometimes including their own embarrassment, doctors may find it hard to bring up certain topics -- and that can compromise the care their patients receive.
“Communication is an inexact science,” says Bob Arnold, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and...
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: