Whatever your reason for looking into hearing aids: encouragement from loved ones, your difficulty understanding conference calls interfering with work productivity, or simply missing sweet sentiments from your grandchildren – deciding to purchase hearing aids is one of the most powerful investments you can make in your quality of life. Although it is important to visit a hearing professional as soon as you notice changes in your hearing, it is also imperative to know these 6 things before inserting your first pair of aids.
Knowing and understanding these 6 tips can help you to have a more successful and positive experience with your new hearing aids.
- Get a Hearing Test & Medical Assessment
Although work is underway to change this, at the moment hearing aids are not available without a prescription. Before you can do anything, you must first visit your local audiologist or hearing aid specialist for a hearing assessment. Most centers offer a free or low-cost initial hearing screen to new clients. Depending on your profile, your hearing professional may refer you to a physician to ensure there are no “red flags” that require additional medical attention.
- Set Your Priorities & Have Realistic Expectations
During your consultation, your hearing aid specialist will discuss your lifestyle, hearing profile, and priorities to determine which products are right for you. Why are you seeking hearing aids? Does clearly hearing all the individual notes in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture rank highest or would you prefer better conversations in group situations? Are you looking to stream TV shows or music through your hearing aids? Is it important to you that your hearing aids be fitness savvy? Whatever your goals, make sure to clearly communicate them with your specialist. Speaking of goals, it is also important to keep realistic expectations. Hearing aids of today are no doubt packed with advanced features; however, they do not recreate completely natural hearing. People with normal hearing also struggle to hear while cruising in a convertible or in a busy restaurant.
- Understand Your Financial Situation
Unfortunately, Medicaid or most insurance plans still do not cover hearing aids. At the moment, hearing aids remain a large out-of-pocket investment in your health and happiness. Many organizations are working to change this, however, in the meantime, do your research. There are charitable organizations, Vocational Rehabilitation programs for those still working and private financing options to help. You and your hearing provider will work together to find an option that works best with your profile, lifestyle, and budget.
- Keep Your Motivation & Positivity Strong
As with most medical interventions, there is an adjustment period to hearing aids. It is important to stay motivated and positive through this process! Remember to keep your follow-up appointments, follow all directions from your specialist and most importantly, keep your sense of humor. With the right aids and adjustments, soon you will wonder how you ever lived without hearing aids. Stick to it!
- Lean on Your Support System
For many, making the decision to try hearing aids is due to the encouragement of a loved one. While adjusting to hearing aids and deciding to make the emotional and financial investment on them – be sure to lean on your support system. Talk through your options with your loved ones and even your co-workers, advocate for yourself during the adjustment period and take feedback on your progress from loved ones back to your hearing professional.
- Keep an Open Mind & Find the Right Hearing Professional
Purchasing a hearing aid is not run-of-the-mill. It is important to find a hearing professional that your trust and can have open communication with. Pay attention to center hours – are they convenient for you or would you need to take off work for a follow-up appointment? Hearing aids are very specific and individualized devices that deserve this personal relationship. On that note, it is important that you keep an open mind about the hearing aide that is right for you. For example, you may have spent hours online researching the Oticon OPN, only to discover that the Resound LiNX2 is a better fit for your hearing profile.
Reach out to the friendly team at Neighborhood Hearing Centers. We look forward to working with you and helping you on your journey to better hearing and a higher quality of life.