What to Ask During A Hearing Consultation

Reed Fenton, HIS Hearing Loss

Reed Fenton, HIS

The decision to seek hearing assistance is a crucial move toward your well being. As you embark on the path toward better hearing, you may have already come across such a wide range of options, functions, and styles of hearing aids to become overwhelmed. Don’t worry! Our team is experienced with pairing individuals with the right type of assistance.

With this in mind, you will still want to ask enough questions to have a good sense of your own hearing condition and the important information to make the most of your aids. When you meet with us for your first consultation, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the options, terminology, and things to consider.

The following are some things you might like to clarify at your first meeting. Be sure to write down your questions and to take notes of important pieces of information. It can be helpful to bring along a friend, loved one, or family member to help you remember what you learn during the consultation.

What kind of hearing loss do I have?

When you take your hearing test, your provider will diagnose the type of hearing loss you experience, if any, as well as the relation between your two ears. The results are delivered on an audiogram, which can be difficult to discern if you are not an expert. Your provider can interpret the results in terms that are easy for a lay person to understand and use for making decisions. Some people have roughly the same hearing profile between the two ears, while others can have very different results.

What hearing aids are suited to my individual lifestyle?

No two sets of hearing aids are identical, and the wide range of options are suited to different degrees of hearing loss as well as lifestyle factors.  For instance, if you participate in lots of physical activity, you might want hearing aids that are unlikely to be jostled out of place. Others might have manual dexterity issues or arthritis making it difficult to manipulate very small hearing aids. Be sure to describe the important features of your lifestyle to your provider—whether you are working or retired, your favorite activities, and your desire for new technology and features—in order to get the most out of your aids.

What features are important and necessary for me?

New hearing aids come with a wide range of features, and many people will find these new features quite valuable. For instance, the ability to stream media, music, and television directly to your aids can be a benefit not only to you but also to members of your household who do not want to hear this sound played at a loud level in the home. Bluetooth technology makes it possible to sync your hearing aids with your smartphone or other devices, and this function is particularly useful for talking on the phone without getting feedback, as well as to hear the ringer. Although these features appeal to some people, others will find them unnecessary and even confusing. Take note of what features are important to you, as well as potential trade offs between functionality and cost.

What ongoing care and maintenance will I need?

Once you have a sense of the style of hearing aids that are best for you, don’t forget to ask about ongoing needs. You will likely need some ongoing guidance to adjust to your hearing aids, and your provider can give you tips for “learning” how to best use them. Inquire about the battery style and how to replace it if necessary.

Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, while others require periodic replacement. You can ask your provider what to do if something goes wrong with your hearing aids, if there is something you can do on your own, or if you will need to communicate with a manufacturer or licensed repair technician if something goes wrong.

Getting all this information up front is helpful for you to have a sense of what to expect, but don’t forget that you can always contact us with questions, concerns, or needs for ongoing support.