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Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Hearing Loss
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
General Tips for Communicating to Accommodate Your Hearing Loss
- If you have trouble hearing you name called, tell the receptionist how to let you know your healthcare provider is ready for you.
- Ask for a quiet, well-lit room.
- Ask your provider to face you and speak clearly. If you cannot hear your doctor, do not hesitate to ask him or her to say things again louder and more slowly and clearly.
- If you need an interpreter or someone who signs, ask for one when you schedule your appointment. Explain the specific kind of interpreter you need.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- How severe is my hearing loss? What is my degree of hearing impairment?
- Do I have it in 1 or both ears? If it is in only 1 ear, what is my risk of developing it in the other ear?
- What caused my hearing loss?
- Given my activities, what is my risk for developing hearing loss?
- Do I have any illnesses or take any medications that make me at risk?
- How can I best prevent it?
- Can my hearing loss be treated?
- What treatment options are available for my condition?
- Would a medical procedure help improve my hearing?
- Would I benefit from some type of hearing aid or assistive device? If so, where can I find a hearing specialist who can help me choose one and learn how to use it?
- Do you know of any support groups that could help me?
- Do you know of a counselor who works with people who have a hearing loss?
- What should I do to prevent ear infections?
- Do I need to avoid cigarette smoke?
- Are there certain medications that I should avoid?
- What do I need to do to protect my ears from loud noise?
- What is the outlook for my condition?
- Do I need to be concerned about this condition recurring?
- Will it get progressively worse? If so, how fast can I expect the changes to occur?
- What can I do to prevent my hearing loss from getting worse?
- What are the best ways to remain socially active?
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 11/08/2017