Congratulations on taking the preliminary step toward better hearing by booking your hearing exam. You’re already ahead of the game, as a great number of people delay getting a hearing test for years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to ensure that you’re well prepared for the appointment, especially if test results show that you might benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help point you to the most suitable technology.
To achieve 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 diagram referred to as an audiogram. See to it that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and explains:
- The form and severity 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 addressed 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 needs are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your way of living, the better they can suggest the appropriate technology.
If you’re highly active, for instance, you may look into the latest hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t require all of the special features, however, a more practical alternative is likely a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least popular topic—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far outweigh 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. Still, you should consult with your hearing professional about some of these resources:
- private insurance (rare but worth asking about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- VA benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I best adapt to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve identified your desired hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go home and instantly hear perfectly without any problems, correct?
Not exactly. As with anything new, you’ll require some time to adapt. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t heard for some time, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel awkward. This is completely normal and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Make sure that your hearing professional gives you advice on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to master the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are state-of-the-art and dependable devices that should operate reliably for years. Still, they will require regular cleaning and care. Ask your hearing professional about cleaning products and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you prepare 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 assistance of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best outcome and a life of better hearing.