Homework for your hearing evaluation? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Any time you have your hearing tested, and especially during your first evaluation, your hearing care professional will have plenty of questions for you, and the better prepared you are to answer them, the easier it will be for you to get the help you need. Therefore, if you have a hearing evaluation coming up, it is a good idea to brush up on the following subjects:
Taking a general health history is basic practice during almost any medical appointment; it is especially relevant during a hearing evaluation as some conditions, such as allergies, chronic ear infections, or head injuries, can impair hearing. Make sure to tell your hearing care professional during your hearing evaluation about any significant health issues or current medications, even if they may not seem related in an obvious way to your hearing.
As hearing loss quite often runs in families, your hearing care professional may ask you about any family history of hearing loss or impairment. If you don’t know this information offhand, try talking to other family members to learn who in your family has experienced hearing loss, and if possible, when and how the loss began.
You can expect many detailed questions during your hearing evaluation about what symptoms of hearing loss you are currently experiencing. To help your hearing care professional help you, it is best if you can answer these questions as precisely as possible. Set aside some specific times to pay careful, focused attention to your hearing, and note what you observe. For instance, if you hear ringing in your ears, how loud is it? Is it high or low in pitch? Do you hear it all the time or sporadically? In both ears or in just one? This level of detail can be difficult to recall on the spur of the moment during your hearing test, so it is worth spending some time thinking about it out in advance.
As with your hearing loss symptoms, this is another area of questioning where careful preparation on your part is very useful. Before your hearing evaluation, take some time to concentrate on your level of difficulty hearing in the different environments of your daily and weekly routine, such as your office or workplace, your favorite restaurant, and your living room with the television on. This will help you be clear and exact when your hearing care professional asks you about the situations that cause the biggest problems for your hearing.