If you currently live with hearing loss, it’s more than likely that you’ve been living with it for a long time. Hearing loss can sneak up on you over long periods of time. It is usually a very slow and extremely incremental process. It takes years or even decades until we start to realize that its effects are more than just isolated coincidences.

There’s a good chance that you’ve lived with hearing loss for a long time. As such, it’s a good idea to know the signs that you are affected by this condition, which affects approximately 20 percent of Americans.

5 Signs you need to see an audiologist

The sooner you are able to identify the signs of hearing loss, the easier it is for an audiologist to find a solution to restore your hearing to its former acuity. If you notice the following happening to you regularly, you need to speak to an audiologist as soon as you are able to:

  • A ringing in your ears (tinnitus).
  • Frequent loss of balance or dizziness (which is also a symptom of Meniere’s disease).
  • Frequent complaints from neighbors that you have the TV or stereo on too high.
  • Following normal conversations becomes difficult and exhausting.
  • Your partner, friends or family regularly complain that you’re not listening to them.

If you’ve lived with hearing loss for a long time, you may be bursting with questions to ask an audiologist. You may, however, not know which are the most pertinent to ask. With the caveat that there are no stupid questions, let’s take a look at some of the best questions to ask your audiologist.

How’s my hearing?

As tempting as it can be to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to our health, knowing the extent of your hearing loss is half the battle. Knowing allows you to consult with your audiologist to determine the best treatment for you.

What’s the cause?

There are many and various causes of hearing loss. Some are lifestyle factors like working with noisy machinery, attending lots of live music events, clubbing or listening to loud music in headphones. Others are genetic issues like Meniere’s disease. Sometimes, hearing loss is simply a natural consequence of the aging process. Knowing the cause can help you to get the right treatment and take the right precautions.

What can I do to prevent further hearing loss?

Hearing loss is usually permanent, but that doesn’t mean that you are powerless to prevent it from deteriorating further. Your audiologist may recommend that you avoid sources of loud noise, wear earplugs or other protective gear or give your ears more time to recuperate between concerts or nightclub visits. If you suffer from Meniere’s disease, they may also recommend that you cut down your intake of sodium and caffeine.

When you ask the right questions, your audiologist is much better positioned to provide treatments and countermeasures to help you. Not only can they help to restore your hearing and improve your relationships, but they can also help you to educate yourself on how to mitigate your risk of further deterioration.