7 Questions to Ask Before Making an Appointment for a Hearing Aid Consultation
1. How long have you been fitting hearing aids?
Fitting hearing aids correctly is both an art and a science. An audiologist who has fitted thousands of patients is more likely to recognize and solve problems, thereby ensuring a proper fitting while maximizing the potential of your hearing instruments. Hearing professionals with less than five years of experience may fail to activate all of a hearing aid’s capabilities. They may provide little or no follow-up care because they simply don’t know how to solve many hearing aid performance problems.
2. How will you determine what’s best for my hearing situation?
Your hearing professional should take a thorough history of your hearing problem and your general health. He should also discuss your life needs and perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation. In addition to routine tone and speech tests, he must perform measurements for comfortable and uncomfortable loudness levels with the goal of reestablishing normal loudness perception. Too often, hearing professionals omit these vital tests. These procedures are time consuming and many hearing professionals aren’t trained well enough to understand their importance.
3. Do you use computerized hearing aid verification?
Digital (computerized) hearing aids are now the standard of the industry. Some hearing professionals may steer you away from premium digital hearing aids because they don’t possess the programming skills or technology needed to customize all of the available features to accommodate the individual’s hearing loss. When this happens, you will not receive the full benefit these hearing aids have the potential to offer. Be sure that your clinic is equipped to perform computerized verification.
4. How many manufacturers do you work with?
It’s a good sign if the audiologist works with several manufacturers. This is because every person’s hearing loss is unique and each hearing aid model offers distinct features and capabilities that can be tailored to help you hear. The competent audiologist who chooses from a wide range of products is the most likely one to select the appropriate instruments for you. Some hearing clinics, and particularly those owned by hearing aid manufacturers like Listen Up Canada, Helix and Connect Hearing limit themselves to one brand. This is not in your best interest.
5. Do all hearing aids work the same?
No, they don’t. Your hearing professional should be able to elaborate on what today’s digital hearing aids can and cannot do. Ask him or her to describe the advantages of what the leading hearing aid manufacturers offer from their basic, mid-range and premium hearing aids.
6. What fees and costs should I expect?
There should never be any surprises. All of the costs should be explained to you up front and in writing. Your prospective audiologist should strive to work within your budget to give you maximum value for your dollar. Also be aware of the warranties offered. Your hearing aids should come with at least three years of warranty coverage and two years of loss and damage insurance.
7. What if I’m not satisfied?
Ontario law requires a 30-day trial period for any hearing instruments you are evaluating, however most clinics will offer a substantially longer trial period. Select a clinic that offers at least a 60 to 90 day trial period.
The first step towards better hearing is to have your hearing tested by a qualified Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist. We encourage you to contact Art of Hearing to schedule this no-cost, no-obligation appointment.