Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by scheduling your hearing test. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay having their hearing tested for many years—in some instances decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re prepared for the appointment, especially if test results reveal that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids can be challenging, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help direct you to the ideal technology.
To achieve the best hearing you can, remember 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. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:
- The type and extent 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 most effectively treated with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will demonstrate the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is most suitable for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and listening requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can prescribe the suitable technology.
If you’re highly active, for example, you may want to consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t want all of the special features, on the other hand, a more cost-effective alternative is likely a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next up is everyone’s least popular subject—price. Although you should bear in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly expense in most instances being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem to be high.
Several financing possibilities are available that can help cover the expense, although not all options are available to each patient. Nevertheless, 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 adapt to my new hearing aids?
After you’ve decided upon your preferred hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go back home and instantly hear perfectly without any complications, right?
Not exactly. Like anything brand new, you’ll need some time to adapt. You’ll be listening to sounds you haven’t noticed in a long while, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit may feel awkward. This is perfectly normal and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
Make sure that your hearing professional provides guidelines on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to learn the features.
5. How do I maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are sophisticated and dependable devices that should operate reliably for many years. Still, they will require consistent cleaning and care. Ask your hearing professional about cleaning kits and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Also, it’s a good idea to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you prepare yourself for your hearing test, keep in mind that obtaining 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
- professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adapting to and taking care of 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 life of healthier hearing.