Congratulations on taking the first step toward healthier hearing by scheduling your hearing exam. You’re already ahead of the game, as many people delay getting a hearing test for years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve booked your hearing test, you’ll want to be certain that you’re prepared for the appointment, particularly if test results show that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be complex, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help guide you to the right technology.
To achieve the best hearing possible, 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 chart 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 categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
- How hearing aids can help, and if and why you’d need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is ideally managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will demonstrate the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most appropriate for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and listening needs are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your lifestyle, the better they can suggest the suitable technology.
If you’re particularly active, for example, you might look into the latest hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t want all of the special features, on the other hand, a more cost-effective option is probably a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next is everyone’s least popular subject—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far exceed the cost (the monthly expense in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
A number of financing opportunities are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to every individual. Nonetheless, you should consult with your hearing professional about some of these resources:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth asking 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 chosen your desired hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go back home and immediately hear perfectly without any issues, correct?
Not exactly. Much like anything brand new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t noticed for some time, your voice may sound different, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel strange. This is perfectly normal and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Ensure that your hearing professional offers guidelines 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 state-of-the-art and dependable products that should operate reliably for years. Even so, they do require consistent cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning kits and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids once or twice 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
- adjusting to and maintaining your hearing aids
With the assistance of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best outcome and a lifetime of healthier hearing.