If you have made an appointment for a hearing consultation, you are on the path to a greatly improved way of life! When you notice or suspect that your hearing may be compromised, the sooner you can get to the hearing specialist for a consultation and examination, the better. Now that you have an appointment lined up, you might be wondering what to expect.
Most visits will include three components. First, your hearing professional will ask you about your hearing experience, including which situations make hearing particularly difficult. In addition to answering questions from your service provider, this is a good opportunity to ask your own questions, as well. The second part of your visit will include an examination of the inner and outer ear. If your provider notices something about the visible structure of the ears, this information can help to arrive at a diagnosis, including a determination of what kind of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
Finally, based on the consultation and examination, you will be given some hearing tests. These tests can take a number of forms, but the most common type of hearing test is called pure tone audiometry, in which tones are played for you and you are asked to gesture when you hear them. Very simple!
All of these three components can usually be completed rather quickly, but you should be sure to leave enough time in your schedule so that you don’t feel rushed. During the consultation phase of the visit, you will want to bring some of your own questions for the hearing professional. The following are a few suggestions to keep in mind when considering questions you might want to raise with your hearing professional.
What kind of hearing loss do I have, and is it evenly occurring in both ears?
Hearing loss comes in three forms: sensorineural (in the inner ear or auditory nerve), conductive (in the outer or middle ear), or mixed (a combination of the two). It will be important to understand the type of hearing loss you have so that you can better understand what to expect. In addition, you will want to know if the hearing loss occurs equally in both ears or unequally between them. This information can be useful in conversations and listening environments in which you can lean a “good ear” toward the sound source.
What options are available for different hearing aid styles for my type of hearing loss?
Although there are many hearing aid styles available on the market, not all will be suited to your particular type of hearing loss. Your hearing professional will know best which type is suited to your needs, but you will still want to be aware of the range of possibilities. For example, if you have problems with manual dexterity or have arthritis, you will want to mention this to the hearing professional. Some styles of hearing aids are very tiny and can be difficult to handle if you have any trouble with your fingers.
What if I find that I don’t like my hearing aids? Do you have warranty or insurance options?
In the event that your hearing aids don’t suit your needs, you will want to know that you aren’t stuck with them. Be sure to clarify with your service provider exactly what you can do if that should occur. Some hearing aid manufacturers offer their own warranties, not only in the event that you don’t like their functioning but also if something should happen to them from a manufacturing perspective. On the other hand, you may want to ask about insurance to protect against damage. If you happen to drop your hearing aids in the sink, you will want to know that you can get them replaced, and some providers offer protection against damage of that kind.
What kind of continued maintenance should I expect?
Once you have your hearing aids, you will want to make sure they last as long as possible. It may be helpful to bring them in for a cleanup and battery check periodically, and your hearing professional can let you know just what kind of maintenance will keep your new aids in top shape!
Pacific Hearing Care
At Pacific Hearing Care, we offer comprehensive hearing health services at convenient locations. If you have a question about hearing loss, we will have an answer for you! Contact us today for a consultation and to learn more.