Your audiologist will want to know details about your hearing as well as your overall health. Although the audiologist will be conducting a thorough hearing examination, he/she will benefit from additional details from you. Inform the audiologist of the settings and circumstances where hearing is most difficult. Is it while talking on the telephone or watching television? Dining in a noisy restaurant? Participating in a conversation with more than one person? The state of your overall health, including the presence of chronic diseases, medications you are taking, and your activity level, is also relevant—as is your employment situation, living environment, and leisure activities.
Take time to read about the different types of hearing aids and think about your preferences. Hearing aids come with a wide variety of features to meet individual needs and wants. Other forms of hearing assistive technology exist as well. By doing some basic research ahead of time, you will be better prepared to ask the necessary questions. However, it is also important to remain open to the professional guidance of your audiologist.
Coverage of hearing aids and other hearing assistive devices, as well as audiology services in general, varies considerably based on your insurance provider and plan. Check your benefits to learn what is and is not covered. Be sure to ask whether you need a referral from a physician before you even see an audiologist. Medicare and Medicaid have their own requirements. If you cannot afford hearing services or devices, you may be eligible for assistance; various charitable organizations and programs exist for children and adults. More detailed information on funding options is available on ASHA's website. Read more at "How do I pay."
You will likely have a lot of questions about the severity of the hearing loss, treatment options, initial and future costs, and the need for ongoing care, among other things. Write these down so you don't forget to ask these key questions at the appointment. Tips for talking with an audiologist are available on our website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides suggested questions specific to children [PDF].