When your first hearing care appointment is approaching, you may be feeling excited, apprehensive or some mixture of the two. This is totally normal, particularly if you’ve waited quite a while before deciding to get your hearing tested. However you’re feeling, the importance of this first appointment cannot be overstated. A little preparation beforehand will ensure that you are ready to get the most out of the experience. Here are some things to take into consideration:

  • Do some research: The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) recommend that you conduct some personal research before attending your first appointment. Look into different testing procedures, types of hearing loss and hearing aid types, this will leave you feeling clued-in and ready to discuss your needs when you attend your appointment.
  • Make a list of concerns: Your appointment will begin with a consultation; this is your chance to tell your audiologist how your hearing has been effecting your life. The nature of your problems can help to determine what type of hearing loss you are experiencing and possible causes. Any information you can provide will be valuable. Writing everything down prior to your appointment will stop you from forgetting things on the day and enable your audiologist to give you the best possible care and support.
  • Think things through: You won’t know what your definitive options are until your hearing problem has been assessed. However, it is a good idea to think about what you are and aren’t prepared to do, so that you are ready when the time comes. For instance, would you be prepared to wear hearing aids? Some types of hearing loss can be corrected with surgery, is this something you would consider? Taking these things into consideration now will save you time later on.
  • Additional support: If you have been struggling a lot as a result of your hearing loss, you may want to ask your audiologist what additional support and advice is available. It is not uncommon for people suffering with hearing loss to experience anxiety, social difficulties and even depression. Whatever your situation, there will be others out there who have felt the same. Your hearing care professional should be able to advise you of any groups or associations who can provide you with additional help.

Finally, think about what you may need to take with you. Drawing up a list in advance will save you time on the day. Make sure you have your insurance card and take a note pad or smart phone to record any useful information while you’re there. You may also wish to come up with some questions of your own and note them down to take with you. There is no such thing as a silly question, so ask as many as you can. Writing them down beforehand will ensure that you don’t forget anything important when you attend your appointment.