Congratulations on taking the preliminary step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as many people delay having their hearing tested for several years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve booked your hearing test, you’ll want to ensure that you’re prepared for the visit, especially if test results show that you might benefit from hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be complicated, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help direct you to the ideal technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, 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 latest technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a diagram known as an audiogram. See to it that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and explains:
- The type and severity 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 managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will display 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 knows about your way of life, the better they can suggest the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for example, you may give thought to the latest hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t require all of the special features, however, a more cost-efficient option is likely a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next is everyone’s least favorite topic—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far outnumber the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
Several financing opportunities are available that can help cover the cost, although not all options are available to every patient. Even so, you should consult with your hearing professional regarding some of these resources:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth asking about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Veterans Administration 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 selected your desired hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go back home and immediately hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. Just like anything brand new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t noticed for some time, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel unpleasant. This is perfectly common and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
See to it that your hearing professional provides guidelines on how to best adjust 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 leading-edge and dependable products that should function reliably for many years. Even so, they do necessitate consistent cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and practices, storage methods, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids once or twice a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, keep in mind that obtaining the best outcome requires:
- understanding your hearing loss
- matching your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- selecting an affordable solution based on your budget
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adapting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the assistance of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best results and a lifetime of better hearing.