Congratulations on taking the initial step toward healthier hearing by scheduling your hearing exam. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay getting a hearing test for many years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to be certain that you’re prepared for the visit, especially if test results indicate that you could benefit from hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be complicated, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help lead you to the most appropriate technology.
To achieve 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 diagram known as an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and explains:
- 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 can help, and if and why you’d require hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is most effectively addressed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will present the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most suitable for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and listening requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of living, the better they can recommend the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you may look into the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, on the other hand, a more cost-effective option is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next up is everyone’s least favorite topic—price. Although you should bear in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far exceed the cost (the monthly expense in most instances being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
A number of financing opportunities are available that can help you cover the cost, although not all options are available to each individual. Still, you should ask your hearing professional regarding some of these sources:
- private insurance (uncommon 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?
After you’ve identified your preferred hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go home and instantly hear perfectly without any complications, right?
Not exactly. Just like anything brand new, you’ll require some time to adjust. You’ll be enjoying sounds you haven’t noticed in a long while, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel strange. This is completely common and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Ensure that your hearing professional gives you tips on how to best adjust 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 state-of-the-art and dependable devices that should function reliably for many years. Still, they will necessitate regular cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids once or twice a year.
As you start preparing 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
- finding an affordable solution based on your budget
- fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adjusting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the support of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best results and a life of healthier hearing.