If your primary care physician has discussed the possibility of you needing hearing aids, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are a lot of factors to consider and you may not know where to start. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a simple guide to getting hearing aids and we’ll discuss what should be done at each step along the way.
The first thing you should do is receive information about hearing loss and treatment options. Additionally, you should schedule an appointment with an audiologist. To find an audiologist, you could begin by asking friends and family for recommendations as well as your primary care physician. Your physician is going to be a great resource because they’re most likely already familiar with your hearing situation. However, you may choose to do some research on your own. There is plenty of information on hearing impairment causes and treatments online but you can also ask for more information from the audiologist’s office prior to your first appointment.
The First Appointment
Before the audiologist performs an actual hearing test, they will sit down with you and discuss your medical history, your current communication abilities, and counseling. It may be a good idea to bring a companion with you to your first appointment so they can hear the educational information that the doctor will be telling you. After the initial discussion, you will undergo the actual hearing test. The basic make-up of a hearing test may include:
- Pure tone auditory measuring hearing sensitivity
- Loudness discomfort
- Speech in noise testing
- Annoyance of noise testing
- “Automatic” tests to assess the mechanics of the middle and inner ear
After the testing is complete, the results should be reviewed and discussed in a way that allows you to fully understand the degree of your hearing loss.
After you’ve discussed the results, the audiologist should review the styles and features of hearing aid brands and options that you should be considering. Along with reviewing hearing aid brands and options, the audiologist should provide you with clear treatment recommendations.
Hearing Aid Fitting
If you decide to pursue hearing aids, you should schedule an appointment with your audiologist to have your hearing aids fitted. During this appointment, your doctor will go over the care, use, maintenance, and expectations for your new hearing aids specifically for your hearing aid brands. Additionally, during this time, it’s important to ask any questions you may have regarding your hearing aids. Additionally, your doctor should follow up within a few days to ensure your hearing aids are working properly.
Getting hearing aids is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, over 10 million people in the United States use hearing aids. However, it’s important to make sure that the hearing aids you get are right for you. The process of getting hearing aids may be time consuming and complex, so it’s important to find an audiologist that you’re comfortable with to ensure you get the best care possible.