Questions to Ask Your Audiologist
Visiting an audiologist for the first time can be an anxiety-inducing experience. You may not know what to expect, and you may be concerned about what the audiologist is going to tell you about your hearing health. But as the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Being prepared with the right questions to ask your audiologist can help make the experience easier, and will show your audiologist that you are taking a keen interest in your own hearing health. This opens the door for you and your audiologist to work together to make sure you’re hearing at your best.
1. What type of hearing loss do I have?
There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss can often be fully corrected with ear flushing, medication or surgery, depending on the cause. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually more permanent, and best treated with hearing aids and/or assistive living devices.
2. Will my hearing loss get worse?
Depending on the type of hearing loss you have and its causes, it is possible that your hearing loss could continue to deteriorate. Your audiologist will be able to tell you if that is the case, and what you can do to help prevent further hearing loss.
3. Will hearing instruments help? What kind?
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are the two most popular types of hearing instruments to help with impaired hearing. Your audiologist will be able to tell you what type of instrument is best suited for you based on your type of hearing loss, needs and lifestyle.
4. Do all hearing aids work the same way?
No. Some deliver sound through the air, and some through bone conduction. Some use FM signals and others use electro-magnetic signals (T-coils). Ultimately, you will work with your audiologist to find the hearing aid that provides the best correction for you.
5. What hearing aids do you offer?
Make sure your audiologist offers a wide array of hearing aids. There are many different kinds on the market, and different brands have their own strengths and weaknesses. An audiologist who works with different manufacturers will be able to offer the best solution for you.
6. Which hearing aid will work best for me?
There are countless options to choose from, with different styles, colors, features and technologies available. Your audiologist should be able to recommend the hearing aids that are best suited for you based on your type and degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle and most common activities.
7. Do you offer a trial period for hearing aids? How long is the trial?
Having a trial period for hearing aids is critical to give yourself time to get used to them, and figure out if they are a good solution for your needs. A trial period should be at least 30 days.
8. Can I get financial assistance to buy hearing aids?
Your audiologist should be able to tell you if there are any state or federal programs that can help you cover the cost of your hearing aids, and help you access those funds. Better audiology practices will offer financing plans where you can pay for your hearing aids in installments.
9. Do you accept insurance?
Your insurance may cover all or part of your hearing aid costs – but you need to make sure that your audiologist accepts your insurance plan. Better audiology practices accept most insurance plans, and will work with your insurance provider on your behalf to get you the maximum entitlement under your policy and take care of all of the paperwork for you.
10. Is there anything my family and friends can do to communicate with me better?
You audiologist will be able to offer you resources that you can share with your family and friends. These pamphlets or videos can help your loved ones communicate with you so you can hear them best, with or without hearing aids.
11. What can I do if I’m not satisfied with my hearing aids?
Ask your audiologist about options if you are not satisfied with your hearing aids. A reputable audiologist will offer the option to come in for unlimited tweaks and adjustments until your hearing aids work perfectly for you, and a trial period during which you can return the hearing aids if that style isn’t right for you.