Preparing For Your Hearing Test
Congratulations on taking the first step toward healthier hearing by scheduling your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as many people delay having their hearing tested for years—in some cases decades.
But now that you’ve scheduled your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re prepared for the appointment, particularly if test results show that you could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help direct you to the most appropriate technology.
To attain the best hearing you can, remember 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 diagram referred to as an audiogram. Make sure your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and discusses:
- The type and degree of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is classified 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 present 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 living, the better they can prescribe the appropriate technology.
If you’re particularly active, for instance, you might give thought to the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless capability. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, however, a more inexpensive solution is likely a better fit.
3. What are my options for financing?
Next is everyone’s least favorite subject—price. Although you should keep in mind that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly cost in most instances being lower than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.
Several financing options are available that can help you cover the cost, although not all options are available to every patient. Nevertheless, you should consult with your hearing professional regarding some of these sources:
- private insurance (uncommon but worth asking about)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- VA benefits
- charitable organizations
- state programs
- financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)
4. How can I best adjust to my new hearing aids?
After you’ve selected your desired hearing aids and have had them professionally fit, you can head home and instantly hear perfectly without any complications, correct?
Not exactly. As with anything new, you’ll require some time to adapt. You’ll be experiencing sounds you haven’t noticed for some time, your voice may sound unusual, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel unpleasant. This is perfectly normal and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.
See to it that your hearing professional provides instructions on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to control them and how to master the features.
5. How do I take care of my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are cutting-edge and dependable products that should function reliably for many years. Even so, they do necessitate consistent cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning kits and procedures, storage methods, accessories, and battery management.
In addition, it’s a wise decision to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a few times a year.
As you prepare for your hearing test, keep in mind that achieving the best outcome requires:
- understanding your hearing loss
- coordinating your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology
- selecting an affordable solution based on your budget
- professionally 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 ensure the best results and a life of better hearing.