Meeting with an audiologist to discuss your hearing problems and take a series of tests is a necessary step to receiving the solutions you need, but it can seem intimidating if it’s your first time visiting the office. While you can trust your audiologist to ask and answer many questions during the visit, it’s also good to bring a list of your own. Here are three important questions to ask during the first visit with your audiologist.

1. What should I expect to get out of this (and subsequent) appointments?

Since hearing loss and audiometry is new territory for you, this is a good first question to start with. Your audiologist will walk you through the process of which tests you’ll take, how you’ll be asked to respond, what your results will look like and how they will determine the treatment options that are best for you. They’ll also give you the heads up for what to expect from future appointments if your hearing exam results show you need to be fitted with hearing aids. In general, they’ll teach you how your hearing and lifestyle may change after your hearing loss is treated.

2. What caused my hearing loss?

This is a good follow-up question after the physical exam and hearing tests, since the audiologist will have gathered the information they need to diagnose your type and degree of hearing loss. Your hearing loss could be caused by genetics, lifestyle, other medical conditions or a combination of many things. The audiologist will put the picture together for you so you can clearly understand your hearing loss and the reasons you will benefit from recommended treatment options.

3. What can I do to avoid further hearing loss?

This is a good forward-thinking question that looks beyond the moment to your life once you leave the office. Hearing loss can’t be cured, but there are many ways to prevent it from becoming even more severe. Besides recommending you follow your treatment plan, your audiologist will be able to provide specific advice catered to your lifestyle, such as avoiding certain noisy environments or harmful habits.

Be sure to ask these and other questions you come up with while you have your audiologist’s undivided attention, and you’ll be more likely to get the most out of your first hearing appointment.