Preparing for Your Appointment with the Audiologist
If your primary physician has referred you to an audiologist or a friend or loved one has encouraged you to have your hearing checked, you might feel anxious before the appointment. The idea of hearing loss can be scary. Taking some time to prepare for your appointment can relieve anxiety and help you get the most from your visit. Here are a few things you can do to prepare.
Medical history and lifestyle issues
As part of your hearing exam, the audiologist will want to review your medical history. So, be prepared. Take a moment to think about your history of serious illness, hospitalization, or surgery. If you have a history of ear infections or tinnitus, be sure to write this down as well.
Hearing can be affected by medication; so, make a list of the medications and supplements you take.
Also, think about your lifestyle. Do you have hobbies or play sports? Do you like to visit museums or live performances? If you need hearing aids, you’ll want to make sure the audiologist understands your lifestyle needs.
Identify difficult hearing conditions
How well we hear can change depending on the conditions and environment. Pay attention to the circumstances in which you find hearing difficult. Is it challenging to talk on the phone? Do you have problems following conversation in groups or difficulty hearing in noisy restaurants?
It will help the audiologist to know the conditions and instances in which you self-identify as having difficulty hearing.
Get familiar with different types and styles of hearing aids
If hearing loss is detected, you will be prescribed assistive hearing devices. The most common devices are hearing aids. Hearing aids come in a wide number of types and styles. You will feel more comfortable selecting hearing aids if you are already familiar with the different types available.
Spend time learning about the differences between in-the-ear, behind-the-ear and in-the-canal style hearing aids. Know which features you think will be important as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. This will prepare you to have an informed discussion with the audiologist.
Check your health benefits
Many private insurance policies do not cover hearing aids. Regular Medicare does not cover hearing aids. However, Medicaid, some Medicare supplemental insurance and some private insurance policies do provide coverage for audiology visits and hearing aids.
It’s best to check your level of coverage before your appointment. If you need assistance paying for hearing aids, be prepared to let the audiologist know. They may be able to refer you to agencies that can assist you.
The idea of living with hearing loss can be scary. It’s even scarier to live with untreated hearing loss. Just taking a few moments to prepare for your appointment with the audiologist can help allay your fears and get the most out of your visit.