Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing test. You’re already ahead of the game, as a great number of people delay having their hearing tested for many years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to be certain that you’re prepared for the consultation, particularly if test results show that you might benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be confusing, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help guide you to the ideal technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, make sure 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 called an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and explains:
- The form 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 require hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is best addressed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will demonstrate 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 knows about your lifestyle, the better they can prescribe the suitable technology.
If you’re fairly active, for example, you may want to consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless functionality. If you don’t want all of the bells and whistles, however, a more cost-efficient alternative is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least popular subject—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
A number of financing options are available that can help you cover the cost, although not all options are available to each individual. Still, you should talk to your hearing professional regarding some of these sources:
- private insurance (rare 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 chosen your ideal hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can head home and immediately hear perfectly without any issues, correct?
Not exactly. Much like anything new, you’ll need to have some time to adapt. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t noticed for some time, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit may feel awkward. This is perfectly normal and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Make sure that your hearing professional offers instructions 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 leading-edge and dependable products that should operate reliably for many years. Even so, they do require consistent cleaning and care. Consult with your hearing professional about cleaning products and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids one or two times a year.
As you start preparing for your hearing test, keep in mind that obtaining the best outcome requires:
- understanding 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
- adapting to and taking care of 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.