When it’s time to buy a car, most of us know exactly what to do. We carry out some research, assess options, and compile a list of questions to ask the dealership. We do 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 buy hearing aids, on the other hand, most people don’t know where to start. Although 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 each individual’s hearing loss is unique and each pair of hearing aids needs custom programming. If buying a car was like this, it would be like you bringing it home and needing 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 manner, compiling a list of questions to go over with your hearing specialist is the single most important thing you can do before your hearing test.
But which questions should you ask? Here are 35 to get you up and running, separated by category:
Different kinds of hearing loss require different forms of treatment. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to compare hearing aid options. You want to understand what type 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 form 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 get worse over the years if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids restore?
- What are my other choices aside from hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are sold in numerous styles, from multiple producers, equipped with many features. You need a orderly way to narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the most suitable 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 best for my requirements and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be beneficial to me, and which could I do without?
- 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 receiving for the cost, if financing is provided, if insurance will help, what the warranty protects, the duration 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 supply any financing plans?
- Will my insurance coverage help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me annually?
- Do the hearing aids have warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has ended?
- Are repairs done at the office or somewhere else?
- If my hearing aids have to be shipped 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 show 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 answered:
Questions to ask:
- How do I operate my hearing aids?
- How do I use hearing aids with telephones and other electronics?
- 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 cell phone to control 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 appointments?
- How long will my hearing aids keep 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 purchasing a pair of hearing aids may not be as fun as picking out a new car. But the quality of life you’ll attain from better hearing might very well make you more happy, as you’ll reconnect with people and take pleasure in the subtleties of sound once again. So go ahead and schedule that hearing test — your new pair of hearing aids are waiting for a test drive.