What to ask at my audiologist appointment?

Posted by gulzar @gulzar, Feb 29 10:03pm

I have an appointment with Audiologist what to ask to get the best hearing aids for mild to severe High frequency hearing loss and difficulty hearing in noisy place..

Lots of information in here. https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/technology/hearing-aids/
Print this sheet and take it with you to your audiologist https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_Purchasing_HearingAid_Checklist.pdf?pdf=Checklist

Take notes. Ask lots of questions. Take notes on the answers. There is a steep learning curve. But it is important to get it right. Hearing aids perform differently and have different features. I wouldn't feel bad at all if I was unable to make a decision on my first visit to the audiologist. Most audiologists will appreciate your interest and asking good questions. They want you to have success. Sure, audiologists have experience fitting patients and they generally know what they have had success with BUT they don't have your hearing or life style. Good luck and may you have great success.

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@gulzar

Hello,

This is long and has to do mainly with your relationship with an Audiologist. First, find out how long your Audiologist has been in the profession as experience is an important factor.

@arrowshooter gave you valuable links for your first appointment as it is important that you understand all the practical aspects of finances, cost,
office policy, brands they deal with etc. before you even go into a hearing test (if you have not already done so).

I have 40+ years of experience wearing bilateral aids with a current profound loss and have dealt with Audiologists with their own private practice, those associated with a clinical or medical practice and also several very experienced independent (not a chain) hearing aid providers who were wonderful programmers.

Audiologists in private practice have a financial stake in selling hearing aids and those connected to a medical or clinical practice are salaried. I have had good and bad providers in both settings. Most Audis have a bias to a certain brand because they believe that particular brand works the best but that doesn’t mean they should try to sell you on that brand…..just be aware of that.

This is an expensive undertaking and, once you get all the practical considerations out of the way, it’s time to asses your Audi. Your Audi should be extremely patient and willing to work with you and should absolutely be available for adjustments for the lifetime of the aids. This is included in the price of the aids. I would not work with an Audi where the adjustments and follow ups are limited in any way. You may need one or two or you may need 21or 22 adjustments. You should feel at ease and comfortable and not rushed…at all. If you sense any impatience before the end of the trial period, I wouldn’t purchase them. Thirty days is not enough time for a trial period but that seems to be the norm and you should be back in the office in 2 weeks for a follow up. I have had Audis on the phone with the brand reps for advice while I was in the office…that’s a good Audi. But you can sense if the Audi is uncertain what to do with you.

It’s hard to describe what you are hearing or not hearing. So I would write down, before your first appointment, what exactly you are experiencing …what things sound like (muffled, shrill etc) …what situations are you in where you are having the most problems. This also goes for when you try your first brand.
This helps the Audi immensely. The aids are programmed per your audiogram but it doesn’t stop there. While in the office, the Audi should be tweaking them to your benefit so don’t leave until you are satisfied. They will sound different out in the real world as your brain adjusts. Be sure you know all the buttons and controls on the aid (which should have a Tcoil).
Also be aware that the assisted devices on most of these brands are proprietary…you can only use them with that particular brand. There should be a trial period on those too.

Research hearing loss in general, go on blogs or forums like the Mayo and you will start understanding the world of hearing loss which will help you help the Audiologist.

Let us know how it goes and when you have decided to purchase one (or two). We can help you with any questions after that. Remember , two people with identical audiograms will have entirely different needs and adjustments and brands. Only you will know what you need and want. It also helps if you can bring someone close to you with you who can give some input.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@gulzar

Hello,

This is long and has to do mainly with your relationship with an Audiologist. First, find out how long your Audiologist has been in the profession as experience is an important factor.

@arrowshooter gave you valuable links for your first appointment as it is important that you understand all the practical aspects of finances, cost,
office policy, brands they deal with etc. before you even go into a hearing test (if you have not already done so).

I have 40+ years of experience wearing bilateral aids with a current profound loss and have dealt with Audiologists with their own private practice, those associated with a clinical or medical practice and also several very experienced independent (not a chain) hearing aid providers who were wonderful programmers.

Audiologists in private practice have a financial stake in selling hearing aids and those connected to a medical or clinical practice are salaried. I have had good and bad providers in both settings. Most Audis have a bias to a certain brand because they believe that particular brand works the best but that doesn’t mean they should try to sell you on that brand…..just be aware of that.

This is an expensive undertaking and, once you get all the practical considerations out of the way, it’s time to asses your Audi. Your Audi should be extremely patient and willing to work with you and should absolutely be available for adjustments for the lifetime of the aids. This is included in the price of the aids. I would not work with an Audi where the adjustments and follow ups are limited in any way. You may need one or two or you may need 21or 22 adjustments. You should feel at ease and comfortable and not rushed…at all. If you sense any impatience before the end of the trial period, I wouldn’t purchase them. Thirty days is not enough time for a trial period but that seems to be the norm and you should be back in the office in 2 weeks for a follow up. I have had Audis on the phone with the brand reps for advice while I was in the office…that’s a good Audi. But you can sense if the Audi is uncertain what to do with you.

It’s hard to describe what you are hearing or not hearing. So I would write down, before your first appointment, what exactly you are experiencing …what things sound like (muffled, shrill etc) …what situations are you in where you are having the most problems. This also goes for when you try your first brand.
This helps the Audi immensely. The aids are programmed per your audiogram but it doesn’t stop there. While in the office, the Audi should be tweaking them to your benefit so don’t leave until you are satisfied. They will sound different out in the real world as your brain adjusts. Be sure you know all the buttons and controls on the aid (which should have a Tcoil).
Also be aware that the assisted devices on most of these brands are proprietary…you can only use them with that particular brand. There should be a trial period on those too.

Research hearing loss in general, go on blogs or forums like the Mayo and you will start understanding the world of hearing loss which will help you help the Audiologist.

Let us know how it goes and when you have decided to purchase one (or two). We can help you with any questions after that. Remember , two people with identical audiograms will have entirely different needs and adjustments and brands. Only you will know what you need and want. It also helps if you can bring someone close to you with you who can give some input.

FL Mary

Jump to this post

Thanks so much was very helpful
My most concern is i have severe high frequency loss above 1000 and mild low frequency hearing loss which hard to find even available such hearing aids
Most of them just want to sell you anything they can
I will be happy with 50 percent improvement
Thanks to all who responded to my question
I spoke to AuD for Cochlear she said try HA first it’s not good for those who had hearing loss with loud sound It might cause me permanent hearing loss

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@gulzar

Thanks so much was very helpful
My most concern is i have severe high frequency loss above 1000 and mild low frequency hearing loss which hard to find even available such hearing aids
Most of them just want to sell you anything they can
I will be happy with 50 percent improvement
Thanks to all who responded to my question
I spoke to AuD for Cochlear she said try HA first it’s not good for those who had hearing loss with loud sound It might cause me permanent hearing loss

Jump to this post

I, too, have good hearing at low frequency but a profound loss above 1,500 hz. That is a difficult situation to treat. From my personal experience you may have difficulty getting good results on your first try. It takes your brain a long time to figure out what the sounds provided to your ears by your hearing aids mean because your brain hasn't heard that sound for a long time. For 20+ years and 5 different hearing aids I could hear some birds and crickets but they did little to improve my speech understanding. Only recently, with a change to the receivers in my hearing aids have I had a significant improvement.

Again, good luck and stick with it.

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Since we haven’t heard those words for long time
I believe we need training on words by specialist to learn how they sound so should come with therapy

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@gulzar, such a great discussion to get started. In addition to the great advice you've gotten here from @arrowshooter and @imallears, you may be interested in this discussion:
– What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-to-expect-at-your-hearing-aid-fitting/

What additional questions do you have?

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@arrowshooter

I, too, have good hearing at low frequency but a profound loss above 1,500 hz. That is a difficult situation to treat. From my personal experience you may have difficulty getting good results on your first try. It takes your brain a long time to figure out what the sounds provided to your ears by your hearing aids mean because your brain hasn't heard that sound for a long time. For 20+ years and 5 different hearing aids I could hear some birds and crickets but they did little to improve my speech understanding. Only recently, with a change to the receivers in my hearing aids have I had a significant improvement.

Again, good luck and stick with it.

Jump to this post

What sort of change was made in your receivers?

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They were larger receivers. They are more powerful and deliver more AND higher Hz sound. They required more occlusive ear moulds. My hearing aids are fairly new and capable of handling the larger receivers. They help my speech understanding but it remains lousy. The first thing I noticed when I left the audiologist office is that there are "beeping" signals at traffic light intersections to signal blind pedestrians. You just never know what you're not hearing.

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@djwenz

What sort of change was made in your receivers?

Jump to this post

@arrowshooter Go by what your audiologist recommends. Depending on your audiogram, your hearing aids should help compensate for your dB loss and severity. If it's noise induced loss, you will have some difficulty discriminating sound at certain frequencies. Good luck.

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This is great discussion topic so thank you for starting it. I am a retired professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (trained and licensed in speech-language pathology). I know the audiologists in my community and currently see an audiologist is in an ENT practice in a medical center. In fact, I have a follow-up appointment with my audiologist in two days. He had been following me for over 10 years so when my testing results showed that I "qualified" for a hearing aid under my insurance, I responded with "yes, let's do it". When an audiologist suggests a particular hearing aid, you will get a trial period for a month to see how that hearing aid works for you. You'll go back to the audiologist and discuss that hearing aid and make decisions together on what works best for you. My audiologist asked me questions about my hearing environments. So, here are a few questions for you to consider:

1. Can you fit me with a hearing aid where I can hear people better in noisy environments (like restaurants and airports)?
2. Can you fit with me a hearing aid where I can change the settings depending on the environment I'm in? I'd like a setting that will improve my hearing in religious settings and at lectures.
3. Will the hearing aid help me better understand the people on TV or the radio?
4. I need a hearing aid that will improve communication with my spouse or loved one. Also for family gatherings?
5. I like to go to museums and concerts. Lots of those places have symbols that show a hearing loop. Can you explain how a T-coil works and if this is something I might like?

Because many public spaces (movie theatres, museums, churches, synagogues) have hearing loops, my audiologist recommended a hearing aid that could be set to the T-coil (referred to as a hearing loop). I have a hearing aid that allows me to not only adjust for volume, but also the environment – general, lecture (oriented to the front of the room) and T-coil.

I'm happy that you are seeing an audiologist and wish you all the best.

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Hi, here are some wonderful tools to help you prepare for your appointment. It is from the Ida Institute, a non-profit organisation that works to help make hearing care more personal. https://idainstitute.com/tools/telecare/prepare_for_your_first_appointment/ Best of luck and hope it goes well!

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It's important to be realistic about what a hearing aid can do. It's an 'aid'. If you expect to have perfect hearing in noisy settings you will probably be disappointed. Yes, the technology is improving. We've come a long ways from the days of analog body aids as we've moved into the digital world of technology. Hearing aids have become smaller and easier to wear. No cords or boxes as in the olden days. BUT, they still, for the most part, serve as amplifying devices. They can be adjusted to your individual needs, per your audiogram, so frequency levels you naturally hear well at are not amplified to an uncomfortable level. They can have directional settings, so the focus is where you need it to be. They still will not screen out all the background noise. In quiet conversational settings they work wonders, but in noisy social settings they need help. This is where the assistive technology that goes with them can be extremely helpful. It's important to understand the options that make using assistive technologies possible. BlueTooth streaming is wonderful, and many of the newer aids have it. However, BT should not replace the telecoil component that makes it possible to directly connect to sound systems where hearing loops are available. If you're hearing loss is bothering you in settings with background noise, you want to understand this. You will also want a manual volume control in your hearing aids so YOU can control the volume. Automatic may sound good until you are experiencing sound that is either too soft or too loud and cannot do anything to change it. If your audiologist doesn't share information about these technologies, including a live demonstration of how they will help you, ask about it. If they diss either technology or tell you that you don't need it. Ask more questions. Why would you not want to hear in settings where these technologies bring sound direct to your ears while passing the background noise that bothers you? You should also know that adding a BlueTooth streamer to your hearing aids will also add cost. Adding an activated, functional telecoil to a hearing aid costs virtually nothing. While there may be no hearing loops in your area of the country, you can purchase a $50 personal loop to use with any audio devices that have an input jack. (Think computer, radio, iPod, cell phone, FM and IR receivers, etc.) And, YOU can get involved in advocating for hearing loops in the public venues and worship centers in your area. Those hearing loops some of us talk about so positively are there because people with hearing loss spoke up to educate and advocate for their installation. The American's with Disabilities Act mandates 'communication access', but it also allows it to be ignored if people don't insist that it's provided. Sorry for the rant folks, but this is all tied together. Hearing aids cost way too much, but when they do what you need them to do it's well worth the money spent. If you spend the money and then find out you are missing some of the technology you could use, you will be frustrated. Bottom line: Do not buy a hearing aid without a manual volume control or without a telecoil. Be sure the telecoil is activated. Insist on a live trial with it in the audiologist's office. Then, use the 30 day trial period you should be given, to try the hearing aid(s) in every possible situation. If they do not work well for you, take them back, but do it within the trial period or you will be stuck with them. It's OK to shop around, so be sure to ask for a copy of your audiogram when you are first tested so you can do that without more testing. Last, but not least, it really pays to talk to other people who are happy with their hearing aids and their providers. HLAA chapter's bring people together to learn. If there is one in your area, seek them out. If not, consider bringing a group together to start one. http://www.hearingloss.org is your resource.

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High frequency hearing loss causes not to hear some letters in high pitch like s f r and if the word contains tmore than one high pitch letter then you are lost the conversation sometimes you can predict the word from the sentence
The only hearing aids help is the one compress the high pitch to lower to hear it but still doesn’t sound as normal
For that type you have to do through training or speech therapy to learn how they sound so you can recognize the letter S F R in the spoken word like “Right” and “Side” and so on but where you can get the therapy is in question
For me I also have some low pitch hearing loss and audiologist can help with correcting on of them not both with hearing aid.

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High frequency hearing loss causes loss of clarity especially in the soft sounding letters. Same thing you said above but stated differently. Sometimes audiologists can program hearing aids to convert a frequency that you can't hear to a frequency that you can hear to improve speech understanding. I"m told that works for about half of patients. I wasn't one of them. I'm not aware of any aural rehab that can teach speech understanding. I have struggled with the same problem you have since about 1970. I can't understand words in songs, can't understand whispering, can't understand loud speakers in depots or drive-up windows, and of course any speech in noisy places. But I can hear noise real well even without my hearing aids. I'd love to give you an answer to your hearing problem, but I have not found one 50 years. But keep trying – all patients are different and respond differently to different treatments. Keep working with your audiologist. Give the audi all the help you can. They can only adjust for what you tell them. Keep notes between appointments. Read up on hearing loss (like you've been doing. Doctors like a well informed patient. It makes their job easier.

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