Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by scheduling 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, particularly if test results reveal that you might benefit from wearing hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be challenging, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help direct you to the ideal 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 known as an audiogram. See to it that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The type 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 will help, and if and why you’d need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is ideally remedied with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will show the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and listening needs are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of living, the better they can suggest the suitable technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you might give thought to the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, however, a more practical alternative is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least favorite topic—price. Although you should bear in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far outnumber the cost (the monthly expense in most cases being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
Several financing possibilities are available that can help cover the cost, although not all options are available to each patient. Even so, you should consult with your hearing professional regarding some of these resources:
- private insurance (rare but worth inquiring about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Veterans Administration benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I best adjust to my new hearing aids?
After you’ve picked out your desired hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can return home and instantly hear perfectly without any complications, right?
Not exactly. As with anything brand new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t heard in a while, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit may feel strange. This is completely normal 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 gives you tips on how to best adjust to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to learn the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are cutting-edge and dependable products that should function reliably for years. Still, they will require habitual cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids a few times a year.
As you prepare yourself for your hearing test, remember that achieving the best outcome requires:
- understanding your hearing loss
- coordinating your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- finding 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 assure the best outcome and a lifetime of healthier hearing.