You’ve been suspecting that you may have a problem hearing for a while now. You don’t know if you need hearing aids, or even if you have a hearing loss, but you are beginning to wonder. You’re noticing less clarity in conversations, especially in groups and restaurants, and you find yourself asking your family and friends to repeat more often than you used to. You may even be turning up the television. You aren’t sure if the problem is earwax in your ears, or do you have a hearing loss?
It’s time to get your hearing tested.
What’s the first step? Where do you start?
The professional who tests hearing is known as a Doctor of Audiology, or Audiologist. Additionally, Hearing Instrument Specialists are trained professionals with a background in the ear, hearing, and hearing aids. There are many providers to choose from, so where do you start?
Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Specialists work in a number of different settings, including hospitals, private practices, community clinics, and ear, nose, and throat offices. Finding the right provider for you can feel overwhelming at first but taking it one step at a time will help you find the perfect fit for you.
Starting with a simple online search for “hearing test,” “hearing aids,” or “audiologist” is a great place to start. You can visit office websites, read online reviews, and gather information.
You may also want to talk to family and friends that have had their hearing tested in the past, or people that you know who wear hearing aids. They can give you great insight into where they went for testing and can offer suggestions on how to prepare yourself.
Some providers take health insurance, so calling your insurance company for a recommendation is another great place to start. They can give you information on your benefits for testing and can also discuss hearing aid coverage. Many insurance companies have a list of in network providers that you can look through and find someone close to your home.
Once you’ve found an audiologist, the next step is to reach out to them either over the phone or email. Many offices list their contact information online, so reaching out is easy. When you call, you will likely be speaking to a Patient Care Coordinator, who can help you to book your hearing test.
Once you’ve scheduled your hearing test, make sure to bring your photo ID, insurance card, and smile!