When it’s time to buy a car, the majority of us know exactly what to do. We do some research, assess options, and compile a list of questions to ask the dealership. We do 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 buy hearing aids, on the other hand, many people don’t know where to get started. Although the process is similar to buying a car, it’s also in many ways more complex (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complex because every person’s hearing loss is distinct and each pair of hearing aids requires custom programming. If purchasing a car was like this, it would be like you taking it home and having 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, accurately programming the most suitable hearing aids for your requirements and lifestyle. In this manner, putting together a list of questions to go over 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 up and running, separated by category:
Different forms of hearing loss require specific forms of treatment. The more you understand your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to assess hearing aid options. You need to learn what form 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 kind of hearing loss do I have?
- Do I have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss?
- Can I have a copy of my hearing test?
- Will my hearing loss worsen as time passes if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids enhance my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids reestablish?
- What are my other choices besides hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are sold in several styles, from several producers, armed with numerous features. You need a systematic way to narrow down your choices to assure that you get the proper hearing aid without spending 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 advantageous 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 expense of a pair of hearing aids often includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with several other services or accessories. You want to make sure that you fully grasp what you’re receiving for the cost, if financing is available, if insurance will help, what the warranty protects, 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 cost of the hearing aids, including professional services?
- Do you offer any financing plans?
- Will my insurance help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me each year?
- Do the hearing aids have warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has expired?
- Are repairs handled at the office or someplace 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 operate your hearing aids. To ensure that nothing is missed, see to it that all of these questions are answered:
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 need a remote control, or can I use my mobile 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 come back for follow-up appointments?
- How long will my hearing aids last?
- Do I need to update the hearing aid software program?
- Do I become eligible for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Ok, so shopping for a pair of hearing aids may not be as enjoyable as purchasing a new car. But the quality of life you’ll attain from better hearing might very well make you happier, as you’ll reconnect with people and take pleasure in 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.