Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay getting a hearing test for years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re well prepared for the appointment, particularly if test results show that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids can be complex, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help point you to the most suitable technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, remember to ask these five questions at your upcoming hearing test.
1. What type of hearing loss do I have?
Your hearing care professional will test your hearing using the most current technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a graph called an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The type and extent of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is classified 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 ideally remedied with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will present the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and listening requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can prescribe the suitable technology.
If you’re particularly active, for example, you might consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t need all of the special features, however, a more affordable alternative is likely a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next is everyone’s least popular subject—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far exceed the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
A number of financing options are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to every patient. Nevertheless, you should talk to your hearing professional regarding some of these options:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth inquiring about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- VA benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I most effectively adjust to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve identified your preferred hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go home and immediately hear perfectly without any problems, right?
Not exactly. Much like anything new, you’ll need to have some time to adjust. You’ll be enjoying sounds you haven’t noticed in a long while, your voice may sound different, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel unpleasant. This is completely normal and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Make sure that 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 products that should operate reliably for many years. Still, they will require regular cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you prepare yourself for your hearing test, remember that obtaining the best outcome requires:
- comprehending your hearing loss
- matching your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- selecting an affordable solution based on your budget
- fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adapting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the help of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best outcome and a life of better hearing.