4 Questions Your Audiologist Can Answer
If you’ve never had a family member with hearing loss or had to deal it yourself (until now), it can be hard to grasp the full scope of what it is, how it affects your everyday life and its implications for the future. That’s where an audiologist can help. As the most educated and experienced hearing care professionals, audiologists can answer these five questions (and more) after you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss.
1. Will my hearing loss get worse? How can I protect it?
No one can predict the future, but an audiologist can provide a realistic outlook for your hearing based on your current hearing loss, how quickly it has progressed and continued exposure to the things that have most impacted it (such as your work environment). The course of your hearing loss isn’t always under your control, but there are many you can do to protect the hearing you still have. An audiologist can give you specific suggestions and guidelines.
2. How can my family and friends help me cope with my hearing loss?
As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stresses, hearing loss requires the involvement of the entire family. The more on board your family is, the greater your chances of living a full and happy life despite hearing challenges. Your audiologist can help your family members understand how your hearing affects you, ways to make communication easier, how to keep you safe or even how to help you with your assistive devices or therapy.
3. What techniques can I use, or classes can I take, to help me make the most out the hearing I have?
Audiologists don’t just treat their patients with hearing aids and wish them good luck. They provide ongoing support, rehabilitation and resources for as long as you may need them. Ask your audiologist for help adapting to your hearing changes and improving your communication and safety.
4. Are there things in my diet or medications I take that could affect my hearing?
A healthy, balanced diet supported with exercise will always benefit your hearing health. Although they’re not nutritionists, audiologists may also recommend increasing your intake of certain nutrients or vitamins based on your diagnosis or support certain dietary strategies (such as reducing your sugar and salt intake).
Medications can certainly affect your hearing – especially known ototoxic drugs. Always talk to your audiologist about the medications you’re currently taking so they can determine if the medications are linked to any changes in your hearing health.