You may feel overwhelmed or uncertain as you face your upcoming hearing consultation and fitting. And you wouldn’t be alone! Many people enter the process of addressing their hearing health with virtually no preparation. With the help of your audiologist and their team, you have an opportunity to ask as many questions as you have. And questions are encouraged! Everyone involved in this process is on your side and is invested in your best possible hearing future.
But before you go, here are some questions you might consider bringing to your hearing consultation that will make you feel confident and prepared as you embark upon this journey.
How mild or severe is my hearing loss?
Once you go through your hearing exam, your result will be collected in a graph, referred to as an audiogram. Your audiologist will walk you through the audiogram, depicting your unique pattern of hearing loss.
Learning the severity of your hearing loss will play a role in whether you are a good candidate for hearing aids and if so, the types of hearing aids that will work best for you. Small, nearly invisible hearing aids work wonderfully for cases of mild hearing loss while larger models are more suitable for more severe cases. That said, today’s hearing aids are quite discreet across the board, regardless of their comparative size.
Do I have hearing loss in both ears?
Like so many things pertaining to the human body, we often expect symmetry despite its rarity. For this reason, you’ll want to know if you have hearing loss in both ears. It’s quite common for hearing loss to show in both ears, but at differing degrees.
This is important because investing in two hearing aids — one for each ear — might enhance your treatment. By choosing a hearing aid for each ear, you increase your ability to localize sound (determining which direction sound is coming from), better locate yourself in space and depth of perception, and use less overall amplification which will soften the adjustment period.
Am I a good candidate for hearing loss treatment?
In a perfect world, our hearing would remain perfect throughout our lifetimes, but that just isn’t our reality. The second best option would be to have proven, successful intervention strategies available. We’re lucky enough to live in a time when hearing health solutions are more powerful than ever, delivering crisp and clear sound.
If you are a good candidate for hearing aids or cochlear implants, you can ask for further guidance on which makes or models are in your best interest.
What sort of long-term support do you offer?
While almost every audiologist offers follow-up care and repair on your hearing aids, their cost structures vary. Ask about what sorts of services are included with your purchase and which you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket for. Some providers host educational sessions to help you learn more about your hearing aids’ capabilities, such as technical workshops or app tutorials free of charge.
What warranties are included with these models?
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to a few models, ask your audiologist to help you do a comparison of the contenders. Warranties vary between manufacturers and models and an extended warranty might be more important to you than whether they offer the latest bells and whistles.
Can I take these hearing aids on a trial run?
It’s not unusual for your audiologist to offer a trial period when you are fitted for hearing aids. Some offices will offer a full refund, some a partial reimbursement and some will allow you to try out the hearing aids before you purchase.
Extra tips for hearing consultation and fitting
We know that investing in hearing aids can be a substantial commitment on your part and we always encourage you to ask as many questions as you may have while you entertain your options. We appreciate that you’ve chosen to work with us and we value your comfort level throughout the process.
To make yourself more comfortable while you undergo your hearing consultation and perhaps begin to shop for potential hearing aids, we invite you to bring along a buddy. A loved one or family member sitting by your side can help to boost your confidence, ease your anxiety and provide a sounding board as you whittle down your options.