6 Questions to Ask During a Hearing Consultation & Fitting

6 Questions to Ask During a Hearing Consultation & Fitting

Treating hearing loss is an exciting time! Treatment offers life-changing benefits that transform your daily experience, relationships, social life and more. The first part of the treatment process is your hearing consultation appointment. During this appointment, your hearing health will be comprehensively evaluated by a specialist who will identify your hearing needs. Once your hearing needs are established, treatment will be tailored to meet your specific hearing and lifestyle needs. 

Your follow-up appointment is known as your hearing aid fitting appointment which is when you receive and learn everything about your hearing aids. During these appointments, you’ll be receiving lots of information so it can be helpful to bring a loved one who can help track everything. Another way you can prepare for these appointments is by developing questions to ask so that you learn the details of your diagnosis and treatment. A few questions that may be helpful include: 

1. What type of hearing loss do I have? Your hearing evaluation appointment will consist of thoroughly assessing your hearing capacities in both ears. There are a few tests that are used to identify any hearing loss, the type, and degree of impairment you are experiencing. Your results will be shared with you during this appointment so it is important that you first understand the type of hearing loss you are experiencing. There are three different types: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. 

Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear and is usually temporary. This differs from sensorineural hearing loss which happens in the inner ear when sensory cells are damaged. Mixed is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural, which accounts for 90% of the hearing loss that people experience today. 

2. Is my hearing loss the same in both ears? Your hearing loss results will show the specifics for each ear. It is possible to have different degrees of impairment in each heart. Hearing loss exists on a spectrum – from mild to profound. So one ear may experience mild hearing loss while it is severe in the other ear. This is known as asymmetrical hearing loss which is different from symmetrical hearing loss. Symmetrical hearing loss describes a similar level of impairment in both ears. 

3. What is the best treatment option? Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider will recommend treatment options. Hearing aids are the most common way hearing loss is treated. Hearing aids are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. This provides the ears and brain with tremendous support, alleviating symptoms and making it easier to hear. Hearing aids significantly strengthen hearing and communication which has numerous positive effects on all aspects of life: relationships, work life, social engagement, health etc. 

4. What type of hearing aid would be optimal? There are several types of hearing aids which refer to the style or how the hearing aid is worn. This includes in the ear and behind the ear options which vary in sizes and colors. Your hearing healthcare provider will use a range of factors to identify the type of hearing aid that is best for you. This includes the specifics of your hearing loss as well as lifestyle factors like the types of environments you regularly navigate. 

5. How do I best maintain my hearing aids? It is important to ask about an effective maintenance routine during your hearing aid fitting appointment. This involves best practices for cleaning and taking care of your device. You will learn all about this which is important because it contributes to the longevity and performance of your hearing aid. 

6. What happens if I don’t like my hearing aids? Be sure to ask your hearing healthcare provider about a trial period or warranty plan. Some hearing aids manufacturers will allow you to try out the device for a period of time before committing. This allows you to live with the device and move through your everyday life with them. 

These questions will help increase your understanding of your hearing needs as well as your hearing aids. We encourage you to ask all of the questions you have so that you are confident with your new hearing aids.