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 having their hearing tested for several years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re well prepared for the visit, particularly if test results indicate that you might benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care specialist can help guide you to the most suitable technology.
To achieve 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 chart referred to as an audiogram. Ensure that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The form and degree 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 ideally remedied with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will present the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and hearing needs are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your way of life, the better they can recommend the suitable technology.
If you’re very active, for example, you may give thought to the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t require all of the bells and whistles, on the other hand, a more practical alternative is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least favorite subject—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far outnumber the cost (the monthly cost in most cases 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 individual. Nonetheless, you should check with your hearing professional about some of these resources:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth asking about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Veterans Administration benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I most effectively adjust to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve chosen your desired hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go home and immediately hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. Like anything brand new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be enjoying sounds you haven’t heard in a long while, your voice may sound different, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel awkward. This is completely common 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 gives you tips on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to master the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are intricate and dependable products that should function reliably for many years. Still, they do necessitate consistent cleaning and care. Consult with your hearing professional about cleaning kits and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a good idea to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a few times a year.
As you prepare yourself for your hearing test, keep in mind 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
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adjusting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the assistance of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best results and a lifetime of healthier hearing.