Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as a large 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 be certain that you’re well prepared for the visit, especially if test results reveal that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help point you to the right technology.
To attain 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 latest technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a graph 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 will help, and if and why you’d require hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is best managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will present 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 way of living, the better they can prescribe the suitable technology.
If you’re particularly active, for example, you may consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t want all of the special features, however, a more cost-efficient solution is likely 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 outnumber the cost (the monthly expense in most cases being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
Several financing possibilities are available that can help cover the cost, although not all options are available to every patient. Nonetheless, you should talk to your hearing professional regarding some of these sources:
- 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 most effectively adapt to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve selected your desired hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go back home and instantly hear perfectly without any problems, right?
Not exactly. As with anything brand new, you’ll need 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 of the hearing aid may feel strange. This is completely normal and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Make sure your hearing professional provides guidelines on how to best adjust to your hearing aids, including how to operate 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 many years. Still, they will necessitate habitual cleaning and care. Consult with your hearing professional about cleaning products and practices, storage methods, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you start preparing 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
- choosing 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 community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best results and a life of healthier hearing.