Discussion of hearing problems
We’ll ask questions about how hearing loss is affecting your quality of life. We want to know which situations create the most frustration. We encourage a family member to also come to this appointment – who can help identify specific instances of how the hearing decline is affecting others. This discussion also will include a history of ear health and related concerns to identify any medical issues that may be contributing to the hearing decline.
We will visually examine the ears and then administer a series of hearing tests to measure both the capabilities and limits of hearing. We will measure the softest sounds your loved one can identify, as well as the upper limits of hearing range. These tests generally last 45 minutes.
Once the nature and extent of hearing loss is known, we will discuss it in terms that are easy to understand. Our hearing professional will walk through the results, which will be illustrated in an audiogram. We’ll also explain how the results directly relate to everyday situations that may be causing frustration.
Lastly, we lay out options for the hearing situation. Those options will be one of the following:
• Nothing, because there’s not enough hearing loss to require action. We may suggest monitoring and re-evaluating in another couple of years.
• Medical referral, if we locate a treatable cause for hearing loss that may be addressed with medication or surgery.
• Hearing aids, if hearing has declined enough that an improved quality of life can be achieved with amplification.