Congratulations on taking the preliminary step toward healthier hearing by scheduling your hearing exam. You’re already ahead of the game, as a large number of people delay getting a hearing test for years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for the consultation, especially if test results show that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids can be confusing, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help lead you to the ideal technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, make sure to ask these five questions at your upcoming hearing test.
1. What kind of hearing loss do I have?
Your hearing care professional will test your hearing using the latest technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a diagram known as an audiogram. Ensure that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and discusses:
- The form and extent of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
- How hearing aids can help, and if and why you’d require hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is most effectively managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will present the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most appropriate for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and listening needs are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your way of life, the better they can suggest the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you may look into the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t require all of the special features, on the other hand, a more cost-effective option is likely a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least popular subject—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far outnumber the cost (the monthly expense in most cases being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
Several financing options are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to each individual. Even so, you should ask your hearing professional about some of these sources:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth asking about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Veterans Administration benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I most effectively adapt to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve decided on your ideal hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go back home and immediately hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. As with anything new, you’ll need some time to adjust. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t noticed in a long while, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel unpleasant. This is completely common and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Make sure your hearing professional provides instructions on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to control them and how to learn the features.
5. How do I take care of my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are cutting-edge and dependable devices that should function reliably for many years. Still, they will require consistent cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, keep in mind that achieving the best outcome requires:
- comprehending your hearing loss
- matching your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- finding an affordable solution based on your budget
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adjusting to and maintaining your hearing aids
With the help of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best outcome and a lifetime of healthier hearing.