Questions to Ask Your Hearing Specialist Before You Buy Hearing Aids
When it’s time to purchase a car, the majority of us know exactly what to do. We complete some research, evaluate options, and compile a list of questions to ask the dealership. We work on this so that by the time we’re set to head to the dealership, we have an idea of what we’re looking for and we know which questions to ask.
When it’s time to purchase hearing aids, on the other hand, many people don’t know where to start. Although the process is comparable to buying a car, it’s also in many ways more complicated (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complicated because every person’s hearing loss is unique and each pair of hearing aids requires custom programming. If buying a car was like this, it would be like you bringing it home and needing to install the transmission yourself.
Luckily, you don’t need to know how to program your own hearing aids, but you do need to know the questions to ask to ensure that your hearing specialist covers all bases, correctly programming the most appropriate hearing aids for your requirements and lifestyle. In this manner, putting together a list of questions to talk about with your hearing specialist is the single most important thing you can do prior to your hearing test.
But which questions should you ask? Here are 35 to get you started, broken down by category:
Specific kinds of hearing loss require specific forms of treatment. The more you understand your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to evaluate hearing aid options. You need to determine what type of hearing loss you have, if it will get worse, how soon you should treat it, and all of your treatment options.
Questions to ask:
- What type of hearing loss do I have?
- Do I have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss?
- Can I have a copy of my audiogram?
- Will my hearing loss worsen over time if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids return?
- What are my other choices aside from hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are offered in multiple styles, from several producers, equipped with numerous features. You need a methodical way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the right hearing aid without wasting money on features you don’t need or want.
Questions to ask:
- How many different types of hearing aid styles do you offer?
- Which hearing aid style is most effective for my requirements and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be valuable to me, and which could I do without?
- What are telecoils and directional microphones and do I need them?
- Do I need Bluetooth compatible hearing aids?
- Do my hearing aids need to be professionally programmed?
- Do I need one or two hearing aids, and why?
HEARING AID PRICES, FINANCING, WARRANTIES, AND TRIAL PERIODS
The total cost of a pair of hearing aids commonly includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with several other services or accessories. You want to make sure that you understand what you’re getting for the price, if financing is obtainable, if insurance will help, what the warranty includes, the length of the trial period, and if any “restocking fees” apply to the end of the trial period.
Questions to ask:
- What is the total price of the hearing aids, including professional services?
- Do you supply any financing plans?
- Will my insurance help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me on an annual basis?
- Do the hearing aids have warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has ended?
- Are repairs done at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be mailed out for repairs, are loaner hearing aids provided?
- Is there a trial period and how long is it?
- Is there a restocking fee if I return my hearing aids during or after the trial period?
HEARING AID OPERATION, CARE, AND MAINTENANCE
Your hearing specialist should explain to you how to care for, clean, and control your hearing aids. To be sure that nothing is forgotten, see to it that all of these questions are addressed:
Questions to ask:
- How do I operate my hearing aids?
- How do I use hearing aids with telephones and other technology?
- Can you show me how to use all of the buttons, features, and settings for my hearing aids?
- What are environmental presets, and how do I access them?
- Do I require a remote control, or can I use my smart-phone to control the hearing aids?
- What batteries do I need, how long will they last, and how do I replace them?
- How should I clean and store my hearing aids?
- Do I need to return for follow-up appointments?
- How long will my hearing aids keep working?
- Do I need to update the hearing aid software application?
- Do I become eligible for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Ok, so purchasing a pair of hearing aids might not be as fun as buying a new car. But the quality of life you’ll achieve from better hearing might very well make you happier, as you’ll reconnect with people and enjoy the subtleties of sound once again. So go ahead and schedule that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.