When it’s time to shop for a car, most of us know exactly what to do. We conduct some research, evaluate options, and compile a list of questions to ask the dealership. We do this so that by the time we’re ready 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 buy hearing aids, in contrast, most people don’t know where to start. While the process is similar to buying a car, it’s also in many ways more complicated (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complex because every person’s hearing loss is distinct and each pair of hearing aids requires custom programming. If buying a car was like this, it would be like you taking it home and having 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 ensure that your hearing specialist covers all bases, accurately programming the most suitable hearing aids for your preferences and lifestyle. In this manner, compiling 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 off, separated by category:
Different kinds of hearing loss require specific forms of treatment. The more you understand your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to evaluate hearing aid alternatives. You want to determine what form 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 kind 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 over the years if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids enhance my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids restore?
- What are my other options other than hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are made in numerous styles, from many manufacturers, loaded with numerous features. You need a systematic way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the best hearing aid without wasting money on features you don’t need or want.
Questions to ask:
- How many different kinds of hearing aid styles do you offer?
- Which hearing aid style is most effective for my requirements and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be beneficial 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 cost 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 fully grasp what you’re getting for the cost, if financing is obtainable, if insurance will help, what the warranty protects, 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 provide any financing plans?
- Will my insurance help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me on an annual basis?
- Do the hearing aids come with warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has expired?
- Are repairs handled at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be sent out for repairs, are loaner hearing aids available?
- 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 show you how to care for, clean, and control your hearing aids. To be sure that nothing is overlooked, 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 devices?
- 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 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 become eligible 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 enjoyable as shopping for a new car. But the quality of life you’ll obtain from better hearing might very well make you happier, as you’ll reconnect with people and take joy in the subtleties of sound once again. So go ahead and book that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.