When it’s time to buy a car, most of us know exactly what to do. We do some research, compare options, and compose a list of questions to ask the dealership. We work on this so that by the time we’re set to stop by 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, however, many people don’t know where to get started. Although the process is similar to buying a car, it’s also in many ways more complex (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complicated because each individual’s hearing loss is unique and each pair of hearing aids demands custom programming. If buying a car was like this, it would be like you bringing it home and having to install the transmission yourself.
Thankfully, you don’t need to know how to program your own hearing aids, but you do need to know the questions to ask to ensure that your hearing specialist covers all bases, correctly programming the most appropriate hearing aids for your requirements and lifestyle. In this way, putting together a list of questions to talk about with your hearing specialist is the single most important thing you can do prior to your hearing test.
But which questions should you ask? Here are 35 to get you started, separated by category:
Specific forms of hearing loss require specific kinds of treatment. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to assess hearing aid options. You want to consider what form of hearing loss you have, if it will get worse, how soon you should treat it, and all of your treatment choices.
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 hearing test?
- Will my hearing loss worsen in the future if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids return?
- What are my other choices aside from hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are offered in numerous styles, from various manufacturers, loaded with many features. You need a organized way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the most effective 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 best for my requirements and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be invaluable 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 expense of a pair of hearing aids frequently includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with several other services or accessories. You want to make sure that you understand what you’re getting for the cost, if financing is provided, if insurance will help, what the warranty includes, the length 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 offer any financing plans?
- Will my insurance help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me on a yearly basis?
- Do the hearing aids have warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has concluded?
- Are repairs handled at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be sent out for repairs, are loaner hearing aids provided?
- 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 demonstrate to you how to care for, clean, and control your hearing aids. To make certain that nothing is missed, see to it that 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 accessories?
- 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 require a remote control, or can I use my smart-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 return for follow-up appointments?
- How long will my hearing aids continue working?
- Do I need to update the hearing aid software?
- Do I become eligible for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Okay, so shopping for a pair of hearing aids might not be as fun as buying 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 take pleasure in the intricacies of sound once again. So go ahead and book that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.