Questions for Your Audiologist

By: Jill Grattan, Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project 

  1. What is my child’s hearing loss in each ear?
  2. What is the type of hearing loss my child has (e.g., conductive, sensorineural, mixed)?
  3. What type of sounds and noises will he/she have difficulty hearing?
  4. Will his/her hearing be affected by noisy environments and background noise (e.g., will he/she hear less in a class-room or restaurant)?
  5. What, if any, medical condition does my child have?
  6. Does my child have a progressive/degenerative condition?
    1. If yes, how rapidly should one expect changes to occur?
    2. What behaviors might I observe that indicate a change in my child’s hearing?
  7. How often should my child visit an audiologist to check his/her hearing?
  8. What suggestions do you have for the teacher working with my child?
  9. What information should be shared with the people who interact with my child?
  10. What assistive listening devices might benefit my child?
  11. What adaptations do you think my child might need in the educational setting or at home?
  12. What should be expected in terms of daily functioning (e.g., strain, headaches, frustration, etc.)?

Screening Questions

  1. What does the ‘newborn hearing screening test’ actually screen for?
    1. Can my child pass this test and still be hearing impaired?
  2. Tests related to hearing and functioning of the ear:
    • Impedance testing - Tympanogram; Acoustic Reflex Test
    • Otoacoustic Emissions Testing (OAEs)
    • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
    • Speech Audiometry - Speech Awareness Threshold (SAT) or Speech Detection Threshold (SDT); Speech Reception Threshold or Speech Recognition Threshold (SRT)
    • Behavioral Testing - Behavioral Audiome-try; Pure-Tone Audiometry or Pure-Tone Air Conduction Testing; Pure-Tone Bone Conduction Testing; Visual Reinforce-ment Audiometry (VRA); Conditioned Play Audiometry
  3. For each hearing test listed above, you might want to ask:
    1. What does [blank] actually test for?
    2. Can my child pass the [blank] and still be hearing impaired?
    3. How old does my child need to be in order to be tested using [blank] ?
    4. What are the procedures to test my child using [blank] ?
    5. What is next step in testing my child's hearing and ear functioning?

Assistive Listening Device and Hearing Aid Questions

  1. What types of hearing aids and assistive listening devices are available?
  2. Will my child’s hearing be improved with a hearing aid?
  3. What types of hearing aids and assistive listening devices are available for profound hearing loss?
  4. What types of hearing aids and assistive listening devices are available for moderate hearing loss?
  5. What types of hearing aids and assistive listening devices are available for mild hearing loss?
  6. Does my child need hearing aids or another type of assistive listening device for a mild hearing loss?
  7. What are benefits and risks of hearing aids and assistive listening devices?
  8. There are many types of assistive listening devices including: cochlear implants, bone conduction hearing aids, in-the-canal-hearing aid, behind-the-ear hearing aids, several types of implanted hearing aids. Regardless of the type of hearing aid or assistive listening device, you may want to ask:
    1. How does a [blank] function/work?
    2. What are the benefits and risks of [blank] ?
    3. What does [blank] do that other hearing aids don’t or can’t?
    4. Will [blank] work if there is damage to the auditory nerve?
    5. Will [blank] work if my child has damage to other areas of the ear?
    6. How long will it be before we know if [blank] is helping?
    7. What happens if [blank] does not work?
    8. What happens to the inner ear function (or other areas of the ear) when [blank] is placed?
  9. What are the disadvantages to my child if I do not have him/her fitted for hearing aids or an assistive listening device?