Before you delve into the intricacies and unknowns of what to expect during your hearing consultation and fitting, give yourself pat on the back! Confronting hearing loss and choosing to take proactive steps to mitigate its effects on your full and vibrant life is a big deal. Though we almost universally acknowledged the importance of hearing health and the privilege of communicating, many people with hearing loss do not take action when their hearing begins to deteriorate.
In a 2021 poll conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, only 20% of US adults have had their hearing tested in the last five years. This is in comparison to more than 60% who’ve had a vision test within the same period of time. And while greater than half of the adults surveyed self-reported difficulty hearing, only one in ten chose to intervene.
What to expect at a hearing consultation and fitting
You’re taking a brave step that many folks with deteriorating hearing resist. It can help soothe anxiety to read up on what to expect during your hearing consultation, which is simply an exercise in information gathering.
Discuss pertinent histories
Our team of hearing health professionals will first go over your medical history and your experience of hearing loss by asking you general questions to get acquainted with your unique story. It is important that you give details about any family history with hearing loss or medical conditions or injuries that might impact your hearing. If you worked in industries with a large degree of noise, like a factory or landscaping work, or if you engage in loud recreational activities like attending rock concerts or snowmobiling.
Your audiologist, a highly trained hearing health professional, might do a quick physical examination to see if there is a physical impediment to sound entering your ear.
Participate in a painless hearing test
For your hearing test, you will remain in a private room while varying noises and frequencies are played for you. You will be asked to wear headphones and your job is to report which sounds you hear and when. A wide variety of sounds on the full frequency spectrum will be used to produce an audiogram, which is a visual display of the softest sounds you are able to hear. Don’t worry — you don’t need to become an audiogram expert — part of our team’s job is to interpret the graph and explain your pattern of hearing loss so that you have a full understanding.
Questions to ask our team
Now that we’ve fully gathered the full picture of your hearing challenges, we can work together to find solutions!
Confronting hearing loss can be intimidating because before you have the full data, you’re dealing with a lot of unknowns. But, after a hearing consultation, you have access to a much better understanding of your unique situation. So, this is the perfect time to ask any and all questions you have, or probe for a fuller comprehension.
Our team of hearing health professionals have years of study and practice in helping people find hearing solutions, so we welcome every question you have. Here are a few we think are important to address:
Do I need two hearing aids?
Healthy hearing is dependent upon hearing in both ears. That helps you to locate where sounds are coming from, which is important for safety reasons like pinpointing where a car horn is coming from. If you have hearing loss, it is likely that hearing loss is present in both ears and two hearing aids will help you experience the best and most secure listening.
Will my hearing be immediately better with hearing aids?
While we wish it was like flipping a switch, adjusting to wearing hearing aids can take some time. You should plan on an extended adjustment period while your ears and brain relearn how to hear sounds and we have additional fittings to make sure your hearing aids are tuned into your hearing loss.
Are high-tech hearing aids always better?
Modern hearing aids definitely benefited from the computer revolution! They are sleeker and more powerful than ever. Some models require a certain amount of tech-savviness to get the full experience, while others use more manual adjustments. More bells and whistles are fun if you are a person who delights in learning new technology. However, if you prefer to have your tech work for you, going with a less intricate model is probably your best bet.