Congratulations on taking the preliminary step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing exam. 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 arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to ensure that you’re prepared for the visit, particularly if test results indicate that you might benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be challenging, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help direct 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 most current technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a chart known as an audiogram. See to it that 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 will help, and if and why you’d need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is ideally managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will show the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most suitable for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and hearing requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can recommend the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for example, you may consider the latest hearing aid technology with wireless functionality. If you don’t want all of the special features, on the other hand, a more cost-efficient alternative is likely a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next up is everyone’s least favorite subject—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
Several financing options are available that can help cover the expense, although not all options are available to each patient. Even so, you should consult with your hearing professional about 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 best adjust to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve identified your preferred hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can go back home and immediately hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. Much like anything new, you’ll need to have some time to adjust. You’ll be experiencing sounds you haven’t heard in a long while, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel unpleasant. This is completely normal and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Make sure your hearing professional offers advice 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 cutting-edge and dependable products that should operate reliably for many years. Still, they do necessitate habitual cleaning and care. Consult with your hearing professional about cleaning kits and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids one or two times a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, remember that achieving the best outcome requires:
- understanding your hearing loss
- coordinating your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- choosing 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 assure the best outcome and a life of healthier hearing.