When it’s time to shop for a car, the majority of us know exactly what to do. We conduct some research, evaluate options, and compose a list of questions to ask the dealership. We work on this so that by the time we’re ready to visit the dealership, we have an idea of what we’re looking for and we know which questions to ask.
When it’s time to purchase hearing aids, in contrast, most people don’t know where to begin. Even though the process is similar to purchasing a car, it’s also in many ways more complex (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complicated because every individual’s hearing loss is distinct and each pair of hearing aids needs customized programming. If buying a car was like this, it would be like you taking it home and needing to install the transmission yourself.
Luckily, you don’t need to know how to program your own hearing aids, but you do need to know the questions to ask to make sure that your hearing specialist covers all bases, correctly programming the most appropriate hearing aids for your requirements and lifestyle. In this manner, producing a list of questions to talk about with your hearing specialist is the single most important thing you can do before your hearing test.
But which questions should you ask? Here are 35 to get you started off, broken down by category:
Different kinds of hearing loss require different types of treatment. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to evaluate hearing aid alternatives. You need to know what type of hearing loss you have, if it will get worse, how soon you should treat it, and all of your treatment options.
Questions to ask:
- What type of hearing loss do I have?
- Do I have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss?
- Can I have a copy of my audiogram?
- Will my hearing loss worsen as time goes by if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids repair?
- What are my other choices besides hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids come in numerous styles, from multiple producers, armed with many features. You need a organized way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the best hearing aid without spending money on features you don’t need or want.
Questions to ask:
- How many different types of hearing aid styles do you offer?
- Which hearing aid style is most advantageous for my needs and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be helpful to me, and which could I do without having?
- What are telecoils and directional microphones and do I need them?
- Do I need Bluetooth compatible hearing aids?
- Do my hearing aids need to be professionally programmed?
- Do I need one or two hearing aids, and why?
HEARING AID PRICES, FINANCING, WARRANTIES, AND TRIAL PERIODS
The total price of a pair of hearing aids typically includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with many other services or accessories. You want to ensure that you understand what you’re getting for the price, if financing is available, if insurance will help, what the warranty covers, the duration of the trial period, and if any “restocking fees” apply to the end of the trial period.
Questions to ask:
- What is the total price of the hearing aids, including professional services?
- Do you supply any financing plans?
- Will my insurance policy help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me annually?
- Do the hearing aids come with warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has ended?
- Are repairs performed at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be sent out for repairs, are loaner hearing aids supplied?
- Is there a trial period and how long is it?
- Is there a restocking fee if I return my hearing aids during or after the trial period?
HEARING AID OPERATION, CARE, AND MAINTENANCE
Your hearing specialist should tell you how to care for, clean, and operate your hearing aids. To be sure that nothing is overlooked, make sure all of these questions are addressed:
Questions to ask:
- How do I operate my hearing aids?
- How do I use hearing aids with telephones and other electronics?
- Can you show me how to use all of the buttons, features, and settings for my hearing aids?
- What are environmental presets, and how do I access them?
- Do I need a remote control, or can I use my mobile phone to operate the hearing aids?
- What batteries do I need, how long will they last, and how do I replace them?
- How should I clean and store my hearing aids?
- Do I need to come back for follow-up visits?
- How long will my hearing aids last?
- Do I need to update the hearing aid software application?
- Do I qualify for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Okay, so picking out a pair of hearing aids may not be as fun as shopping for a new car. But the quality of life you’ll obtain from better hearing might very well make you more happy, as you’ll reconnect with people and appreciate the intricacies of sound once again. So go ahead and schedule that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.