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How to Prepare for Your Appointment with a Hearing Instrument Specialist

a hearing instrument specialist administering an ear examination

If you have hearing loss, have you wondered where to begin with getting a hearing aid? Or who to talk to about an assistive hearing device? A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) can help you uncover your hearing loss and find the best solution possible. Their job is to match their patient with the correct assistive hearing device suitable with their needs, and their primary function is to recommend a hearing aid.

They serve a practical role, helping you identify your hearing loss and getting the best device you can for your specific needs. A HIS takes into consideration their patient’s preferences and functional needs of their hearing device, as well as the severity of the patient’s hearing loss. A HIS is also in charge of calibrating the hearing device and setting it up for the patient’s needs.

Once you set up an appointment with a HIS, you might begin to wonder what you can do to prepare? Because the hearing instrument specialist’s job is so specific, you’ll want to follow these several steps below to expect the straightforward assessment better.  

Write down your symptoms

Hearing loss can present itself in a number of different ways, so it’s important to keep track of what symptoms you experience most frequently. The most common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty following conversations in a group setting
  • Turning up the volume on the television or radio
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty hearing small children or women
  • Headaches after being in noisy situations
  • Challenges hearing over the telephone
  • Reading lips to better understand what is being said

These symptoms could help your hearing instrument specialist better determine what is behind you hearing loss and how you can best be treated.

Collect your medical history

Keep an ongoing record of your medical history with you to give to the HIS. Naturally, with any medical-related visit, you will be asked many questions relating to your medical history. The more detail you can provide, the better results your HIS can provide you with regarding a hearing assistant device.

Some medications can cause hearing loss; it is best to keep a list of all the medications you take. Provide as much detail as possible to your HIS, as this will ensure a more specific treatment plan tailored specifically for you. It is also best to make a comprehensive list of discomforts, pains and irritations you have around your ears which might affect the fitting or examination. It is best to be entirely upfront with your HIS and to think of any questions you might have before your appointment.  

Clean your ears

Since your first appointment will include an evaluation and full physical examination of your ears, you’ll want to make sure your ears are completely clean. During the hearing test, your HIS will measure how well your ears detect different sounds, pitches and conversations. If your ears are clogged or irritated, you won’t give the best results of your hearing.

Before you go to your first HIS appointment, make sure you aren’t experiencing any colds, allergies or stuffiness in your ears. If you have an earwax impaction, you may not be able to hear like you normally would, which will skew your results.

Research hearing aids in advance

With the massive surge in noise-related hearing loss ramping up the need for hearing assistant devices, new types of hearing aids have debuted on the market. The following hearing aid styles include:

  • Behind the ear (BTE): The most extensive hearing device, aids almost any type of hearing loss.
  • In the ear (ITE): Improves severe hearing loss and includes more features.
  • In the canal (ITC): Custom molded and is less visible.
  • Invisible in canal (IIC): Custom molded and practically undetectable.
  • Completely in canal (CIC): Smallest and least visible.  

Additional features for hearing aids range from noise reduction, volume control, wireless connectivity to directional microphones. Speak with your HIS to determine your best hearing aid model.

Make a list of questions

Another excellent way you can prepare for your appointment with an HIS is by writing down a list of questions you have. Your questions may be about hearing loss, hearing tests or hearing aids. Writing these down before your visit ensures you won’t forget any during the appointment, and gives you more time to come up with the most thorough questions possible.

To learn more about hearing instrument specialists, call us at (803)-749-6017 to speak with the representatives at Affordable Hearing.