You totally forgot your hearing exam tomorrow, but that’s not really unusual, you’re really busy. Fortunately, you just got that reminder text from us, and you still have a few hours to get ready. So how should I get ready?
Hearing tests aren’t like back in college or high school where you’d have to pull an all-nighter to study for an exam. With a hearing test, it’s more about attempting to remember everything you need to know regarding your symptoms. Essentially, preparing for your hearing exam is really about making sure you get as much out of your time with us as possible.
Get prepared using these 7 tips!
1. Put together a list of your symptoms (and when they manifest)
Hearing loss doesn’t present the same way for everyone all the time. Some symptoms may be more dominant than others. So, before your appointment, it’s a good plan to begin taking a few notes on when your hearing loss is most pronounced. You can write things down like:
- When you’re out in a busy restaurant, do you strain to keep up with conversations? If so, how often does that happen?
- Did you have a hard time hearing the TV? How loud is the volume? And do you have a more difficult time hearing at night?
- Is it challenging to have conversations on the phone? Record times when it’s more difficult to understand people than usual.
- Do you find yourself losing concentration in meetings at work? What time during the day is this most prominent?
We find this kind of information very helpful. Note the day and time of these symptoms if you can. If you can’t, just remember that they did occur.
2. Get some info about hearing aids
How much do you really know about hearing aids? You don’t want to make any decisions founded on false information you may have heard somewhere. A good opportunity to get some valid info is when we inform you that hearing aids would help you.
You will get better information and the process will be accelerated when you know what kinds of hearing devices are available and understand what your preferences are.
3. Go over your medical history
This is another moment when writing something down can help speed up the post-hearing-test-conversation. Before your appointment, you should take some time to write down your medical history. Write down major medical incidents and also minor ones. Here are a few examples:
- Any history of illness or disease (you don’t need to note every cold, but anything that sticks out).
- Major or minor surgeries that you have undergone.
- What kind of medication you take.
- Medical devices you may presently use.
- Allergies and reactions to medications.
4. Avoid loud noises and noisy environments
If you have a hearing test scheduled and you attend a loud concert the night before, the outcome will be impacted. Likewise, if you check-out an airshow the morning before your exam, the results will not be accurate. You can see where we’re going with this: you want to protect your ears from loud noises before your hearing assessment. This will help ensure your results are reliable and reflect your current hearing health.
5. Consult your insurance ahead of time
The way that health insurance and hearing tests work together can be… perplexing. If your hearing impairment is related to a medical problem, some insurance plans will cover it. But other plans might not. You will be a lot more confident at your appointment if you get this all squared away before you come in. In some instances, you can work directly with us to get answers about insurance. If we can’t, you will have to speak directly with your insurance company.
6. Bring a family member or friend in with you
Bringing a trusted friend or loved one with you to a hearing appointment isn’t strictly necessary, but it can provide numerous benefits. Here are several of the most notable benefits:
- When you’re at your appointment, a lot of information will be discussed. Having a dependable friend or family member with you can help you remember all of that information later.
- You don’t always detect when your hearing isn’t working right but it’s a good bet your spouse or partner does! This means that we will have access to even more information to help make a precise diagnosis or exam.
7. Be prepared for your results
With many medical diagnostics, it could be days or weeks before you get your results. But that’s not the case with a hearing exam. Just like the bubble-sheet tests that were fed through the scantron machine when you were in college, you get your results right away.
And even better, we’ll walk you through what your results mean and how you can improve your overall hearing health. That could mean utilizing some ear protection or some lifestyle changes or maybe hearing aids. You’ll know immediately either way.
So there’s no need to overthink it. But it is helpful, mostly for you, to be prepared!