What to Ask During A Hearing Consultation

What to Ask During A Hearing Consultation

In Hearing Health, Hearing Testing by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Jennifer G. Mayer purchased South Shore Hearing Center in January 2016. She was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her Master’s degree in audiology from the Northeastern University in 1998. Dr. Mayer fulfilled her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) in 1999 at Hear USA and Cape Cod Ear, Nose and Throat.
Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

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Have you decided to do the right thing for your hearing health and schedule a hearing test? That’s fantastic! If you’ve admitted that your hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, and are ready to take the next step towards healthy hearing, we’re here to help! Before you visit us for your hearing consultation, take some time to think about the questions you’re going to ask during the appointment.

What to Expect During a Hearing Test

To get the most out of your hearing appointment, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what to expect during a hearing test so you’ll be prepared. The hearing health specialist will test your ability to hear soft and loud sounds, and determine if you can hear high and low sounds. A printed audiogram will show exactly which sounds you can and can’t hear. However, testing your hearing is only one part of the hearing test.

Along with testing your hearing range, we’ll examine your ears to look for any signs of illness, injury, infection, or build-up of earwax that could be affecting your ability to hear. We’ll also ask you questions about your medical history and your hearing history so that we can identify any other risk factors that could be affecting your hearing. Finally, we’ll have a conversation about your lifestyle and hearing needs, and identify where you need the most help hearing. If that’s in the quiet of your living room, driving down the freeway, or at the baseball game, knowing what you want to hear will help us find the best device for you.

Be Prepared with Questions

Take a moment to review any questions you should ask during the consultation, and feel free to write down any questions you might have. We want to make sure you’re completely satisfied, and will gladly answer all your questions and concerns.

Do I have hearing loss in both ears?

While it’s likely that you have hearing loss in both ears, it’s possible that you don’t have the same level of hearing loss in both ears. It’s very common that one ear will have slightly worse hearing than the other, and this can affect the treatment method we’ll suggest. If you have glasses, your prescription is probably slightly different between the eyes, and your hearing works the same way. It’s helpful for you to know which ear is your “better” ear, and how that affects your ability to hear.

A recent study from the University of California LA found that the ears process different kinds of auditory information. In the same way that the two sides of the brain process different information, the ears also perform specialized tasks. Researchers think that the left ear is able to process emotional information easier, and helps you enjoy music or intuitively understanding emotions. The right ear, on the other hand, processes speech and logic. If your left ear has a greater hearing loss, you might struggle to interpret your loved ones’ emotional reactions, but if your right ear is weaker, you may have a harder time thinking through a problem someone is explaining to you.

Do Both Ears Need Hearing Aids?

It’s likely that you will need two hearing aids, one for each ear. You may think that you’re able to hear very well from one of your ears, but the reality is that both your ears are probably experiencing hearing loss. When you wear two devices, not only will you be able to hear from both ears, you’ll also have better binaural hearing, and your brain will have an easier time understanding all the sounds around you. You’ll have better spatial awareness, and easily localize sounds, determining exactly where a sound is coming from. This will help you maintain balance, stay safe when walking or driving, and reduce your risk of accidents.

What Hearing Aids Are Right for Me?

Hearing aids come in a wide range of styles, with advanced programs and settings to assist a variety of hearing losses. There are hundreds of options, and asking your hearing health specialist for recommendations will narrow the search down to the best three or four devices that will help you hear when you need it the most.

Visit us today at South Shore Hearing Center for your hearing consultation, and to get the answers to all your hearing health questions.