Congratulations on taking the initial step toward better hearing by booking your hearing test. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay having their hearing tested for years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re prepared for the visit, especially if test results reveal that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help lead you to the ideal technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, make sure to ask these five questions at your upcoming hearing test.
1. What type 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 graph known as an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and discusses:
- The type and severity 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 show the results for both ears.
2. Which hearing aid is best for my needs?
Every patient’s hearing loss and listening needs are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can prescribe the suitable technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you might consider the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capabilities. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, however, a more affordable alternative is likely a better fit.
3. What are my financing options?
Next up is everyone’s least favorite topic—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far exceed the cost (the monthly expense in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
A number of financing opportunities are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to each patient. Nevertheless, you should ask your hearing professional about some of these options:
- 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 most effectively adapt to my new hearing aids?
Once you’ve selected your desired hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can head home and immediately hear perfectly without any issues, right?
Not exactly. Much like anything new, you’ll require some time to adjust. You’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a while, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit may feel unpleasant. This is perfectly common and expected, and will take care of itself in a short amount of time. You just have to be patient.
Ensure that your hearing professional provides advice 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 devices that should operate reliably for years. Even so, they do require habitual cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning kits and practices, storage solutions, accessories, and battery management.
Additionally, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing specialist professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, remember 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
- fitting and programming your new hearing aids
- adapting to and maintaining your hearing aids
With the support of your community hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can assure the best outcome and a life of healthier hearing.