Ten Questions to Ask Your Hearing Health Professional - Attune
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Ten Questions to Ask Your Hearing Health Professional

hearing aid trial explained

You’ve noticed you may not be hearing as well as you used to? People often seem to be mumbling and social situations are becoming more difficult to navigate? Sounds like it might be about time to have a hearing test with a trusted local hearing health professional. Here are some of the questions you should ask your audiologist!

It’s important to have your hearing checked by a qualified audiologist who can perform a full set of tests to determine the type and extent of your hearing loss. An audiologist can also answer any questions about your ears such as how to clean your ears or how to best protect your hearing.

Questions to Ask Your Hearing Health Professional

1. What type of hearing loss do I have?

Different types of hearing loss require different treatment approaches. Understanding the type of hearing loss you have will help decide which treatment is most appropriate. You should make sure to ask your audiologist what type of hearing loss you have exactly and how this can affect your health and wellbeing.  

There are 3 main types of hearing loss:

Conductive hearing loss

This occurs when sound can’t pass through the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear. Often this can be due to blockages such as wax or infections which can be resolved through ear cleaning by a doctor. Sometimes medication or surgery can be required for this type of hearing loss depending on the underlying cause. Hearing aids can also sometimes be appropriate. 

Sensorineural hearing loss

This occurs when there is damage to the inner part of the ear, the hearing nerve or the hearing centres in the brain. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent. Hearing aids are often the most suitable treatment form for sensorineural hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss

This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Treatments vary depending on the cause. Hearing aids are often appropriate.

You’ve already had a hearing test done? Click here to learn how to read your audiogram results!

high frequency hearing

2. Will my hearing get worse?

Most people will start to lose some high-frequency hearing as they age. This varies between individuals. There do seem to be genetic predispositions in some people, which can cause them to lose their hearing quicker than others.  

Other factors can also play a part: Wax build-up, which can be cleaned away, otherwise blocked ears, exposure to loud noise, certain medications and ear infections can all influence the rate at which hearing falls. There are also certain medical conditions that can impact hearing.

3. Do I need hearing aids?

Hearing aids are designed to improve hearing when there isn’t another way to fix it. For example, if you can’t hear because your ears are full of wax, your ears can be cleaned, and your hearing will be restored.  

If you have a sensorineural hearing loss, which is damage to the nerve part of your hearing, this can often only be restored with hearing aids. Where possible, it is generally advisable to wear a pair of aids. Generally, it is easier to interpret sound, particularly in background noise with amplification from both sides.

Signs you may need hearing aids:

  • People appear to be mumbling or to be speaking too softly
  • You prefer the TV louder than other people
  • You struggle to understand people on the telephone
  • You are more impatient, frustrated or withdrawn 

If you notice any of these signs, come visit an Attune Hearing clinic today and our team of qualified audiologists can conduct a hearing test for you.

4. Which hearing aids are best for me?

There are many brands, types and styles of hearing aids available today. Different features are suitable for different lifestyles. Your audiologist will ask questions about your hearing goals and lifestyle to help recommend the most appropriate hearing aids for you. It’s a good idea to think about what your needs are before your appointment. 

Lifestyle questions that’ll help choose the right hearing aids:

  • Do you go out often or prefer to stay in?
  • What is your work environment like?
  • Do you want to use a smartphone to operate your hearing aid?
  • Do you need a remote control?
  • Do you have the vision and dexterity to operate a hearing aid?
  • Do you want to use your hearing aids with telephones and assistive listening devices?

reading audiogram results

 

 

5. What is included in the cost of my hearing aids? And is there a warranty?

Hearing aids will generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty and may also come with a service package which covers appointments with your hearing health professional for a certain period of time. This should then cover any adjustments to your hearing aids, cleaning your aids, cleaning your ears and regular hearing reviews. Some packages may include extras like discounts on batteries.

6. How often do hearing aids need adjusting?

Hearing aids need adjusting a couple of times initially to get everything set up correctly.  Most hearing health professionals will include these visits in the cost of your hearing aids.  Once your hearing aids are set up, you usually only need an appointment once a year to have your ears cleaned, hearing checked, and aids cleaned and checked.

7. How long do hearing aid batteries last?

Different types of hearing aids require differently sized batteries. These will last various amounts of time. This can vary four days for the smallest batteries to up to two weeks or more for the largest. Nowadays, most hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. These hearing aids are plugged into a case at night to re-charge and be ready to go again in the morning.

hearin aids

8. How long will my new hearing aids last?

Hearing aids are electronic and like any other piece of electronic equipment, they will eventually wear out. It is difficult to say how long exactly your hearing aids will last. Generally, we expect hearing aids to last approximately five to seven years, but this is dependent on the aids being looked after properly and cleaned and serviced regularly, which is something your hearing health professional can help you with. 

9. What happens if I am unhappy with my new hearing aids?

Most hearing health professionals offer trial periods with new hearing aids. Many also offer a return period after purchase that if you are not happy after a certain time you can return the devices and get most of your money refunded.

10. Can I get a rebate from my health insurance towards hearing aids?

Depending on your level of cover, you may be entitled to a rebate towards the cost of your hearing aids. Some funds also provide rebates for assessments, repairs and adjustments. 

Attune Hearing offers a range of funding options, including interest-free payment options and funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

What’s Next?

Your audiologist can guide you through the process of understanding your hearing. They will also provide you with information on the appropriate management options, which may include fitting hearing aids. 

Many hearing health professionals also provide ear cleaning services, can advise you on hearing protection and the management of tinnitus or balance issues. Talk to your audiologist or GP about your experience and schedule a diagnostic hearing test today.

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