When it’s time to purchase a car, most of us know exactly what to do. We complete some research, compare options, and compile a list of questions to ask the dealership. We work on this so that by the time we’re set to visit the dealership, we have an idea of what we’re looking for and we know which questions to ask.
When it’s time to buy hearing aids, however, most people don’t know where to begin. Even though the process is similar to purchasing a car, it’s also in many ways more complicated (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complex because every individual’s hearing loss is unique and each pair of hearing aids requires custom programming. If purchasing a car was like this, it would be like you bringing it home and needing to install the transmission yourself.
Fortunately, you don’t need to know how to program your own hearing aids, but you do need to know the questions to ask to ensure that your hearing specialist covers all bases, accurately programming the most suitable hearing aids for your needs and lifestyle. In this manner, producing a list of questions to go over with your hearing specialist is the single most important thing you can do prior to your hearing test.
But which questions should you ask? Here are 35 to get you started off, broken down by category:
Different types of hearing loss require specific forms of treatment. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to compare hearing aid alternatives. You need to know what type of hearing loss you have, if it will get worse, how soon you should treat it, and all of your treatment choices.
Questions to ask:
- What form of hearing loss do I have?
- Do I have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss?
- Can I have a copy of my audiogram?
- Will my hearing loss get worse as time passes if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids regain?
- What are my other alternatives aside from hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids come in many styles, from many manufacturers, armed with many features. You need a organized way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the right hearing aid without wasting money on features you don’t need or want.
Questions to ask:
- How many different kinds of hearing aid styles do you offer?
- Which hearing aid style is most effective for my needs and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be meaningful to me, and which could I do without having?
- What are telecoils and directional microphones and do I need them?
- Do I need Bluetooth compatible hearing aids?
- Do my hearing aids need to be professionally programmed?
- Do I need one or two hearing aids, and why?
HEARING AID PRICES, FINANCING, WARRANTIES, AND TRIAL PERIODS
The total expense of a pair of hearing aids commonly includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with several other services or accessories. You want to make sure that you fully grasp what you’re getting for the price, if financing is available, if insurance will help, what the warranty includes, the length of the trial period, and if any “restocking fees” apply to the end of the trial period.
Questions to ask:
- What is the total price of the hearing aids, including professional services?
- Do you provide any financing plans?
- Will my insurance coverage help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me on a yearly basis?
- Do the hearing aids come with warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has ended?
- Are repairs done at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be sent out for repairs, are loaner hearing aids supplied?
- Is there a trial period and how long is it?
- Is there a restocking fee if I return my hearing aids during or after the trial period?
HEARING AID OPERATION, CARE, AND MAINTENANCE
Your hearing specialist should demonstrate to you how to care for, clean, and operate your hearing aids. To be sure that nothing is missed, see to it that all of these questions are addressed:
Questions to ask:
- How do I operate my hearing aids?
- How do I use hearing aids with telephones and other electronics?
- Can you show me how to use all of the buttons, features, and settings for my hearing aids?
- What are environmental presets, and how do I access them?
- Do I need a remote control, or can I use my cell phone to control the hearing aids?
- What batteries do I need, how long will they last, and how do I replace them?
- How should I clean and store my hearing aids?
- Do I need to return for follow-up visits?
- How long will my hearing aids keep working?
- Do I need to update the hearing aid software application?
- Do I qualify for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Okay, so purchasing a pair of hearing aids may not be as fun as purchasing a new car. But the quality of life you’ll obtain from better hearing might very well make you happier, as you’ll reconnect with people and take joy in the subtleties of sound once again. So go ahead and book that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.