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A great way to prepare for your upcoming hearing health related appointments is by preparing useful questions. This is an exciting and informative time that inches you closer to the many benefits of treating hearing loss. Treatment starts with a hearing aid consultation appointment which involves having your hearing evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist. Your follow-up to this is known as a hearing aid fitting appointment. This is when you will receive your hearing aids and learn everything about them. You can expect to learn a lot during these appointments so it may be helpful to bring a loved one. Another useful way to enter these appointments is by preparing a list of questions that will help you track everything you are learning. The following can assist you as you develop the questions you’d like to ask:
1. What type of hearing loss do I have? Your hearing healthcare provider may use a few different tests to assess your hearing capacities in both ears. These tests are painless and noninvasive and will identify the specific type of hearing loss and the degree of impairment you are experiencing. There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. It is important to know what type of hearing loss you have because that informs the treatment plan moving forward.
Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear and is typically temporary.
Whereas sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the inner ear and is a permanent type of hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive.
2. Is my hearing loss the same in both ears? In addition to learning about the specific type of hearing loss you are experiencing, it is also useful to know what your hearing is like in each ear. Hearing loss ranges from mild to profound and each ear can be anywhere on this spectrum. One ear can experience mild hearing loss while the other experiences severe impairment. Both ears can also experience a similar degree of hearing loss. Your hearing healthcare provider can also share what types of sounds and speech you have a harder time detecting and processing.
3. What is the best treatment option? There are effective hearing solutions for hearing loss. The most common is hearing aids which are electronic devices that absorb and process speech as well as sound. Hearing aids provide the ears and brain with significant support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. Today’s hearing aids are savvier than ever before. They’ve experienced significant innovations that maximize cutting edge technologies to deliver sharp sound quality. Combined with their sleek aesthetics, hearing aids can seamlessly integrate into everyday life while supporting your hearing needs in everyday environments. Your hearing healthcare provider will help you navigate your hearing aid options, ensuring you select a device that is best suited for your hearing and lifestyle needs.
4. How do I best maintain my hearing aids? During your hearing aid fitting appointment, you will receive your hearing aids and they will be programmed with specific settings to meet your hearing needs. You will also learn everything about your new device including how to use and maintain them. Cleaning and storing your device properly is incredibly important because it contributes to them working effectively and lasting. Be sure to ask about a maintenance routine and the specifics of cleaning your device well.
5. How long will my hearing aids last? Another useful question is about the lifespan of your device. How long a hearing aid lasts depends on a few factors like the specific type of device and model it as well as how well you maintain them. Hearing aids can last between 5-7 years so asking your hearing healthcare provider is helpful so you can be aware of your device’s longevity.
6. What if my hearing aids don’t work well? If you are having any issues with your hearing aid, it is important to contact your hearing healthcare provider. They can assess your device, adjust the settings, and evaluate its performance. It is also helpful to ask if your hearing aids come with a trial period and/or warranty plan.
Asking these questions can help you learn more about your hearing health adn your new hearing aids. It is important to maximize your appointments so that you walk away feeling confident with your new hearing aids!