Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by booking your hearing test. You’re already ahead of the game, as a great number of people delay having their hearing tested for many years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to be certain that you’re prepared for the visit, particularly if test results show that you could benefit from hearing aids. Choosing hearing aids can be complex, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help guide 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 latest technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a graph called an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and explains:
- The type and extent of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is further classified 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 managed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will demonstrate the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Each patient’s hearing loss and listening requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can suggest the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you may give thought to the latest hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t want all of the special features, however, a more inexpensive option is probably a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next is everyone’s least popular topic—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far outweigh the cost (the monthly cost in most cases 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 cost, although not all options are available to each individual. Even so, you should talk to your hearing professional regarding some of these resources:
- private insurance (rare 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 chosen your desired hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go back home and instantly hear perfectly without any issues, right?
Not exactly. As with anything new, you’ll require some time to adapt. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t noticed in a while, your voice may sound different, and the fit may feel strange. This is perfectly common and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Make sure that your hearing professional gives you instructions 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 high-tech and dependable products that should operate reliably for years. Still, they will necessitate regular cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning kits and procedures, storage methods, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids once or twice a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, keep in mind that obtaining 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
- fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adjusting to and taking care of your hearing aids
With the assistance of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best results and a lifetime of healthier hearing.