Congratulations on taking the first step toward healthier hearing by booking your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay having their hearing tested for many years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to ensure that you’re prepared for the appointment, especially if test results indicate that you might benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be confusing, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help direct you to the most suitable technology.
To achieve the best hearing possible, make sure 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. See to it that 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 further 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 addressed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will demonstrate the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and hearing requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your lifestyle, the better they can suggest the suitable technology.
If you’re very active, for example, you might consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t want all of the special features, on the other hand, a more practical solution is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next up is everyone’s least favorite topic—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly expense in most instances being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
Several financing options are available that can help cover the cost, although not all options are available to each individual. Even so, you should consult with your hearing professional regarding some of these sources:
- private insurance (rare 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?
After you’ve decided upon your preferred hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can return home and instantly hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. Much like anything brand new, you’ll need to have some time to adapt. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t noticed in a while, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel awkward. This is perfectly common and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
See to it that your hearing professional provides instructions on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to learn the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are cutting-edge and dependable products that should operate reliably for many years. Still, they will necessitate consistent cleaning and care. Ask your hearing professional about cleaning kits and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a few times a year.
As you start preparing 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
- 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 assistance of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best outcome and a lifetime of healthier hearing.