Because we know that hearing plays such an important role in our overall wellbeing, it's important to be aware of the signs of hearing loss and consult a doctor as soon as those first signs appear.
During the initial appointment, you'll want to address:
- Any family history of hearing loss.
- Medications you take or have taken in the past. Some medications can increase the risk of hearing loss.
- Health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.
- Frequent exposure to noise on the job or during everyday activities.
- Your symptoms. It's especially important to provide as many details and scenarios as possible. In fact, leading up to the appointment, it's a good idea to document those exact moments when you're having a difficult time hearing. Was it during a social gathering? Is it during conversations with men? Women? On the phone? The more details you can provide, the better.
If your initial appointment is with a general practitioner, ask them to either provide a baseline hearing screening or refer you to an audiologist for a more comprehensive screening. You also can check with your provider to see if you need a referral. If not, you can make an appointment directly with an audiologist.
If you receive a hearing screening from an audiologist, ask that those results be shared with your general practitioner. This way, everyone is familiar with the extent of your hearing loss.
If you're not sure whether to make that first appointment, take our online Hearing Questionnaire. We'll contact you with your results and make recommendations about whether an appointment is necessary.
Our next blog post will focus on talking to your doctor about hearing aids. Stay tuned!