I’ve noticed that I have had trouble hearing, now what? A guide on steps to take and what to expect during a hearing aid consultation.
Have you noticed lately that you have been asking family or friends to repeat themselves? Maybe at your favorite restaurant it is becoming harder to stay engaged in the conversation? Have loved ones started to notice and suggest you have your hearing checked? If you have started to notice these situations the next step can be a difficult one. Where should you go to have your hearing tested? How will you know what to look for or what to expect? Who do you trust? For most people embarking on this journey to seek an audiologist is a first and sometimes can be scary. This article is meant to give you an idea of what to expect at your initial audiology appointment and what questions you should be ready to ask based on your specific lifestyle and listening needs.
Where do I start?
The first step is calling to schedule an appointment. When you call our office and talk to one of our Hearing Care Coordinators (HCCs) they are more than happy to help find the best office for you. We have four offices in Fort Wayne and twelve offices in the surrounding areas. Our HCCs will gather basic information from you so we can be prepared when you arrive.
What do I need to bring with me?
The day of your appointment, the most important thing to bring with you is a companion, whether that is a spouse, family member, or friend. It is also important that you bring your insurance cards. Although most insurance plans do not cover hearing aids, we are more than willing to check the benefits on your specific plan. When you first arrive at the office, one of our HCCs will greet you and have you fill out a little paperwork.
What should I expect during the appointment?
The audiologist will bring you to the soundbooth and complete a thorough hearing evaluation. Throughout the evaluation the audiologist will give instructions and explain each section. After the hearing evaluation is complete, the audiologist will bring you back to an exam room, review the results of the hearing evaluation with you and your companion, and discuss the best plan of treatment for you. If you are a hearing aid candidate, the audiologist will further explain the options available based on the type of hearing loss you have and your listening lifestyle and needs. If medical management is necessary, the audiologist will make that recommendation at this time.
I have a hearing loss, now what?
Experiencing the difference that hearing aids can make is something you will receive during our in office demonstration. The audiologist will discuss with you and your companion your lifestyle and listening needs to determine the hearing aid technology level that would be most appropriate for your lifestyle. Hearing aids also come in several different styles. Some devices can be custom fit and sit deep in your ear while others sit behind your ear and have a thin wire or tube that sends sound into your ear canal. The style best for you can depend on your hearing loss, but also on your preference. The audiologist will be able to go into more detail based on your specific needs and explain the pros and cons of each style.
Where do we go from here?
At the end of the consultation you will be given the option to move forward with a trial period. The trial period allows you to try the hearing aid for thirty days and see if it helps you in the situations where you have been having difficulty. Our team of audiologists at The Hearing Center never want you to feel like you are pressured into making a decision. If you decide not to move forward with a hearing aid trial following your appointment, we strongly recommend that you continue to have your hearing tested every one to two years or sooner if any changes are noticed.