Getting a pair of hearing aids isn’t as easy as heading to Edison Mall to try on and purchase a pair of jeans. Hearing aids are medical devices that need to be prescribed by a medical expert. Below we review the process of how to get your very own set of hearing devices.
Step 1: Get a Comprehensive Hearing Exam
Comprehensive hearing exams are made up of two parts: a medical exam and an audiological exam.
- The medical examination may be performed by a primary care physician, an ear, nose and throat physician or an audiologist. By looking into the ears, running any necessary tests and taking a personal and family medical history, possible causes of hearing loss can be uncovered.
- The audiological examination is performed by an audiologist, who is specially trained to diagnose and treat hearing problems. This part of the exam may consist of a pure tone test, speech test, middle ear test, auditory brainstem response (ABR) test and/or otoacoustic emissions test. The results of your audiological exam will be charted on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss.
Step 2: Selecting a Hearing Aid
When it comes to selecting a hearing aid, you’ll work closely with an audiologist to determine what best suits your hearing, lifestyle and budgetary needs.
Your audiologist will ask you a number of questions in order to determine what type of hearing aid will work best for you, and this is also your time to ask questions. We recommend preparing a list in advance, which may include questions such as:
- Do I need one hearing aid or two?
- What styles of hearing aids are available to suit my unique hearing loss?
- What features are available with today’s hearing aids?
- What features would benefit my hearing and lifestyle needs?
- How long is the warranty?
- What is covered under the warranty?
- How should I care for my hearing aids?
After this question and answer period, your audiologist will make a recommendation, and you’ll decide what model you want to go with.
Step 3: Programming & Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids
Once a device is selected, your audiologist will program it to suit your needs. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean sounds will be perfectly clear as soon as you put them on; it takes time for your brain and ears to re-learn to hear everyday sounds.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Gulf Coast Audiology today.