Congratulations on taking the first step toward better hearing by booking your hearing assessment. You’re already ahead of the game, as most people delay getting a hearing test for years—in some cases decades.

But now that you’ve arranged your hearing test, you’ll want to see to it that you’re prepared for the visit, particularly if test results indicate that you might benefit from hearing aids. Selecting hearing aids can be complex, but if you ask the right questions, your hearing care professional can help point you to the right technology.

To attain the best hearing you can, remember to ask these five questions at your upcoming hearing test.

1. What type of hearing loss do I have?

Your hearing care professional will test your hearing using the most current technology, and the results of the test will be printed on a graph known as an audiogram. See to it that your hearing professional reviews the audiogram with you and clarifies:

  • The type and severity of your hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss is most common, and is categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.

  • How hearing aids can help, and if and why you’d need hearing aids for one or both ears. Hearing loss in both ears is most effectively addressed with two hearing aids, and the audiogram will show the results for both ears.

2. Which hearing aid is most suitable for my needs?

Every patient’s hearing loss and hearing requirements are unique. The more your hearing professional knows about your way of life, the better they can recommend the suitable technology.

If you’re fairly active, for example, you may look into the most up-to-date hearing aid technology with wireless functionality. If you don’t require all of the special features, on the other hand, a more practical option is probably a better fit.

3. What are my financing options?

Next up is everyone’s least popular topic—price. Although you should take into account that the benefits of hearing aids far surpass the cost (the monthly cost in most cases being less than the cable TV bill), the price can still seem high.

Several financing possibilities are available that can help you cover the expense, although not all options are available to every individual. Still, you should talk to your hearing professional regarding some of these options:

  • private insurance (uncommon but worth asking about)

  • Medicare and Medicaid

  • Veterans Administration benefits

  • charitable organizations

  • state programs

  • financing options (special healthcare credit arrangements)

4. How can I most effectively adapt to my new hearing aids?

After you’ve picked out your preferred hearing aids and have had them expertly fit, you can go home and immediately hear perfectly without any problems, correct?

Not exactly. Just like anything new, you’ll need to have some time to adapt. You’ll be experiencing sounds you haven’t heard for some time, your voice may sound different, and the fit of the hearing aid may feel unpleasant. This is completely normal and expected, and will resolve itself in a short amount of time. You simply have to be patient.

Make sure your hearing professional provides advice on how to best adapt to your hearing aids, including how to operate them and how to learn the features.

5. How do I take care of my hearing aids?

Hearing aids are high-tech and dependable devices that should function reliably for years. Still, they will require regular cleaning and care. Talk to your hearing professional about cleaning products and procedures, storage methods, accessories, and battery management.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your hearing practitioner professionally clean your hearing aids a couple of times a year.

As you get ready for your hearing test, remember that achieving the best outcome requires:

  1. understanding your hearing loss

  2. coordinating your hearing loss and lifestyle to the right technology

  3. selecting an affordable solution based on your budget

  4. professionally fitting and programming your new hearing aids

  5. adapting to and maintaining your hearing aids

With the assistance of your local hearing care professional—and by asking the right questions—you can ensure the best outcome and a life of better hearing.