To guide you through your next steps, below is a checklist of what you need to plan for and consider:
Find a licensed, reputable Hearing Health Care Professional
This could be an audiologist, hearing instrument practitioner, otolaryngologist or an otologist. Most offer the hearing test at no cost, so check beforehand.
Make an appointment for your hearing test
The Hearing Care Professional will examine your ears for possible physical causes of hearing loss like excessive wax build-up, infection, or growth. A hearing test will also be performed to measure your ability to detect sounds at various frequencies or pitches. The entire process may take about an hour. It doesn‘t hurt and will help your Hearing Care Professional find a solution to suit your particular needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and try to be as open and relaxed as possible. The more your Hearing Care Specialist knows about you, the better he or she will be able to help you.
Choose your hearing system
Depending on your test results, your Hearing Care Professional will give you a recommendation of hearing solutions best suited to your hearing and personal needs. Feel free to do your own research as well on the solutions available and perhaps compare prices at other Hearing Instrument Specialist stores.
Have your ear impression made
If you have chosen a custom hearing instrument, then you will be scheduled for an ear impression, which is an exact duplicate of the contours of your ears. Your ear impression is sent to hearing instrument manufacturers to make your hearing instrument. This usually only takes a few days.
Schedule your fitting
Your next appointment will be for your Hearing Care Professional to optimally adjust your hearing instrument. The adjustments are done with a computer, based on an audiogram and your own comments. Your audiologist will teach you how to operate your hearing instrument, and how to hear best in different environments. You will also practice inserting and removing your hearing instruments and learn how to clean and care for them.
Follow up visit(s)
Wear your new hearing instruments for a few days in your regular surroundings. You may want to keep a diary to record your impressions of the sounds you hear. Based upon how well you can hear in your everyday surroundings, your Hearing Health Care Professional may make additional adjustments to your hearing instruments if necessary.
Learn to enjoy sound again
Learning to listen with hearing instruments takes time and a degree of patience in the beginning. You may need to learn to ignore unwanted sounds, just as you used to do with normal hearing. It‘s also important to be realistic and not to expect 100-percent hearing in every situation.