Congratulations on taking the initial step toward better 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 instances decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to be certain that you’re prepared for the visit, particularly if test results show that you might benefit from hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be challenging, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help lead you to the ideal 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 most current technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a chart referred to as an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The type 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 need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is most effectively addressed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will show the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most appropriate for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and hearing requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional understands about your lifestyle, the better they can recommend the appropriate technology.
If you’re fairly active, for instance, you might give thought to the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless functionality. If you don’t require all of the bells and whistles, on the other hand, a more affordable solution is probably 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 expense in most instances being lower 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 expense, although not all options are available to every patient. Even so, you should check with your hearing professional about some of these resources:
- 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 adapt to my new hearing aids?
After you’ve selected your preferred hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go home and immediately hear perfectly without any issues, right?
Not exactly. Just like anything new, you’ll need some time to adjust. You’ll be enjoying sounds you haven’t heard for some time, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit may feel unpleasant. 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 guidelines 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 state-of-the-art and dependable products that should operate reliably for years. Even so, they do require habitual cleaning and care. Ask your hearing professional about cleaning kits and procedures, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a good idea to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids once or twice a year.
As you start preparing for your hearing test, keep in mind that obtaining the best outcome requires:
- comprehending 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
- adapting to and maintaining your hearing aids
With the help of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best results and a lifetime of healthier hearing.