Hearing aids are medical devices that need to be prescribed by a medical professional. Unlike a TV or a smartphone, you can’t simply walk into Sunland Park Mall and pick up a set. If you’re considering hearing aids, below is everything you need to know about getting your first pair.
Step 1: The Hearing Test
A comprehensive hearing exam consists of two parts: a medical exam and an audiological exam.
- The medical exam entails the doctor looking at your ears to see if there are any identifiable causes for your hearing loss, like an anatomical abnormality or impacted earwax. This part of the exam also involves taking a complete personal and familial medical history in order to identify potential environmental causes, like occupational noise exposure, or genetic causes.
- The audiological exam involves a combination of any of the following tests: pure tone testing, speech testing, middle ear testing, auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) testing. The results of these hearing tests are charted on an audiogram – a visual representation of your hearing loss.
Step 2: The Selection Process
After your audiologist has a thorough picture of the possible causes of your hearing loss as well as the exact specifications of what sounds you can and cannot hear, they can make a hearing aid recommendation.
During the selection process, the audiologist will also take lifestyle, budget and aesthetic preferences into consideration. Be sure to tell them what your favorite activities are and what features you’re looking for.
It’s important to be involved in the process, so be sure to bring a list of questions, such as:
- How do these devices need to be cared for?
- Do I need to wear my hearing aids all the time?
- How do I change the battery?
- What features does this device have?
- What’s covered by my warranty?
- Do I need any accessories?
- How long will these hearing aids last?
Step 3: Programming the Devices
The last step in the process is getting the programming just right. The audiologist will program your hearing aids based on your audiogram, then you’ll repeat the hearing tests with the aids on to make sure you can hear everything you’re supposed to.
Don’t expect to hear perfectly as soon as your leave your audiologist’s office. It will take some getting used to, and you may need to have the programming adjusted a couple of times until it feels just right.
For more information about getting your first hearing aids or to schedule an appointment, call Tinnitus & Hearing Experts today!