Congratulations on taking the first 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 booked your hearing test, you’ll want to ensure that you’re well prepared for the consultation, especially if test results reveal that you could benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be complicated, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help guide you to the most appropriate technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, remember 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 most current technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a graph known as an audiogram. Ensure that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The form and degree of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is further classified as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
- How hearing aids will help, and if and why you’d need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is ideally treated with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will show 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 knows about your way of living, the better they can prescribe the appropriate technology.
If you’re highly 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 economical alternative is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least favorite subject—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far exceed the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
Several financing options are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to every individual. Even so, you should check with your hearing professional about some of these options:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth inquiring 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?
After you’ve identified your desired hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can head home and immediately hear perfectly without any complications, right?
Not exactly. Just like anything new, you’ll require some time to adjust. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t noticed in a while, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel strange. This is perfectly common 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 tips on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to control them and how to master the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are leading-edge and dependable products that should function reliably for many years. Even so, they will require regular cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a few times a year.
As you prepare yourself for your hearing test, remember that obtaining the best outcome requires:
- understanding your hearing loss
- matching your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- choosing an affordable solution based on your budget
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adjusting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the support of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best outcome and a life of healthier hearing.