Why you should bring a buddy to your hearing aid appointment
A loved one or friend can help you navigate your options
Good for you. You knew you weren’t hearing as well as you used to and scheduled an appointment with a hearing care professional. Just by taking this small step, you’re already part of a savvy group of people who proactively take charge of their hearing health.
If you’re diagnosed with hearing loss as a result of your upcoming hearing evaluation, you’re likely to hear a lot of new terms. You also might be asked to make some decisions that will impact your health—and your pocketbook. Although hearing evaluations are comfortable, non-invasive procedures and hearing care professionals have your best interests at heart, it’s a good idea to take a family member or loved one along with you to this medical appointment. (Though just make sure it's OK beforehand).
Hearing loss impacts the whole family
Have you considered how your hearing issues are affecting relationships with your family and friends? Asking your significant other to accompany you provides an opportunity for them to voice their thoughts and feelings, too. You may be surprised what they’ve been thinking. Partners often spend years if not decades compensating for their partner's hearing loss. The insights they share at your appointment may help you and your hearing care professional better customize your treatment plan.
Many people postpone having their hearing tested because they think no one else is impacted by their hearing loss. In fact, studies have shown that untreated hearing loss negatively impacts relationships. Consider these findings from a 2009 survey of 1,500 people with hearing loss:
There’s a lot to know about hearing aids
Depending upon the severity of your hearing loss, hearing aids may be prescribed as treatment. If so, you’ll appreciate having someone with you to determine which manufacturer and model of hearing aid best suits your lifestyle and budget—as well as how to care for your new piece of technology.
As you listen to the healthcare practitioner, your companion can take notes. Here are a few questions you’ll want answered before you leave the office:
Hearing aids have options and accessories
Thanks to advances in technology, certain features allow hearing aids to interact with other digital devices in your life such as smartphones and televisions. Additionally, various accessories can enhance the life of your hearing aids and make them more enjoyable to wear. Because these features and accessories vary according to the make and model of your hearing aid, it’s always a good idea to have someone along to make sure you choose which are best for you.
If your hearing loss isn’t severe enough to warrant hearing aids, you may still wish to have a little assistance in certain listening situations. Work with your hearing care professional and family members to determine if any of these assistive listening devices would be of benefit:
Wearing a hearing aid is just part of the solution
Hearing is a brain activity so, depending upon the length of time you’ve waited to seek treatment, your brain may have “forgotten” how to hear common, everyday sounds. Your our brain’s ability to recognize certain sounds in your environment may take awhile to retrain.
And, since untreated hearing loss has been linked to a variety of other medical issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and dementia, heeding the prescribed course of treatment sooner rather than later can significantly impact your quality of life.
That’s a lot to take in—and yet another reason why having a supportive someone with you during the hearing evaluation and subsequent hearing care appointments is advisable. Together with your professional, you can better manage expectations about your new devices and navigate any challenges you encounter along your path to better hearing.