Congratulations on taking the preliminary step toward better hearing by booking your hearing test. You’re already ahead of the game, as a great number of people delay having their hearing tested for years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re well prepared for the consultation, especially if test results show that you could benefit from hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help direct 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 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 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 need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is most effectively remedied with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will display the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and hearing requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your lifestyle, the better they can suggest the appropriate technology.
If you’re very active, for example, you might want to consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless functionality. If you don’t require all of the bells and whistles, however, a more inexpensive option is likely a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next up 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 instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
A number of financing opportunities are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to each patient. Even so, you should talk to 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 adapt to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve picked out your ideal hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go home and instantly hear perfectly without any problems, correct?
Not exactly. Like anything new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t heard in a long while, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel unpleasant. This is completely normal and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Make sure 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 complex and dependable devices that should function reliably for years. Even so, they will require habitual cleaning and care. Ask 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 few times a year.
As you get ready for your hearing test, remember that achieving 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
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adapting to and maintaining your hearing aids
With the help of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best results and a lifetime of healthier hearing.