When it’s time to buy a car, the majority 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 ready to head to 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, however, most people don’t know where to begin. Even though the process is similar to purchasing a car, it’s also in many ways more complex (and probably not quite as fun). It’s more complicated because every individual’s hearing loss is unique 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.
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 way, producing 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, broken down by category:
Specific forms of hearing loss require different forms of treatment. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the better you’ll be able to assess hearing aid options. You want to understand what form of hearing loss you have, if it will get worse, how soon you should treat it, and all of your treatment alternatives.
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 in the future if left untreated?
- Will hearing aids enhance my hearing?
- How much of my hearing will hearing aids regain?
- What are my other options aside from hearing aids?
HEARING AID STYLES AND FEATURES
Hearing aids are sold in numerous styles, from various producers, armed with numerous features. You need a organized way to narrow down your choices to be sure that you get the proper hearing aid without spending money on features you don’t need or want.
Questions to ask:
- How many different types of hearing aid styles do you offer?
- Which hearing aid style is most beneficial for my needs and lifestyle?
- Which digital features would be relevant 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 cost of a pair of hearing aids frequently includes the professional fees associated with custom fitting and programming, along with many other services or accessories. You want to ensure that you understand what you’re receiving for the cost, if financing is provided, if insurance will help, what the warranty includes, 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 cost of the hearing aids, including professional services?
- Do you supply any financing plans?
- Will my insurance help pay for hearing aids?
- How much will my hearing aids cost me each year?
- Do the hearing aids have warranty coverage?
- How much do hearing aid repairs cost after the warranty has ended?
- Are repairs completed at the office or someplace 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 tell you how to care for, clean, and control your hearing aids. To make 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 accessories?
- 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 need 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 qualify for future hearing aid upgrades?
YOU’RE READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEARING TEST
Ok, so buying a pair of hearing aids may not be as enjoyable as shopping for a new car. But the quality of life you’ll attain from better hearing might very well make you happier, 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.