When you decide you’re ready for your first pair of hearing aids, you’ll find that it’s not as easy as heading to Metropolitan Appliance to purchase a new fridge. Hearing aids are medical devices that are prescribed by audiologists.
Below we review how you can get your first pair of hearing aids.
1. Get a Hearing Test
Hearing tests, also known as comprehensive hearing exams, are made up of two parts: a medical exam and an audiological exam.
The medical exam may be performed by a primary care physician (PCP), an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician or an audiologist. Possible causes of hearing loss can be uncovered by looking into the ears, running necessary tests and taking a personal/family medical history.
The audiological exam is performed by an audiologist, who is specially trained to diagnose and treat hearing problems. This part of the exam may consist of a pure tone test, speech test, middle ear test, auditory brainstem response (ABR) test and/or otoacoustic emissions test. The results of your audiological exam are then charted on an audiogram – a visual representation of your hearing loss.
2. Selecting a Hearing Aid
You’ll work closely with an audiologist to determine what hearing aid best suits your hearing, lifestyle and budgetary needs.
During this part of your appointment, your audiologist will ask you a number of questions in order to determine what type of hearing aid will work best for you. This is also your time to ask questions. The experts at Evergreen Speech & Hearing clinic recommend preparing a list in advance, which may include questions such as:
- Do I need one hearing aid or two?
- What styles of hearing aids are available to suit my unique hearing loss?
- What features are available with today’s hearing aids?
- What features would benefit my hearing and lifestyle needs?
- How long is the warranty?
- What is covered under the warranty?
- How should I care for my hearing aids?
Once you’ve asked all your questions, your audiologist will make a recommendation, and you’ll decide what model you want.
Step 3: Programming & Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids
After you select a device, your audiologist will program it to the exact specifications of your hearing loss. This doesn’t mean you’ll hear everything perfectly as soon as you put them on; remember, it takes time for your brain and ears to re-learn to hear everyday sounds. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Evergreen Speech & Hearing Inc today.