5 Hearing Aid Questions You MUST Ask!

5 Hearing Aid Questions You MUST Ask!

Choosing where to purchase hearing aids is a significant decision that can impact the effectiveness of your hearing treatment. Our aim is to empower and educate viewers to ensure they make an informed choice when acquiring hearing aids. With our extensive reach to over a million viewers each month, we have identified key queries that are vital before you commit to an appointment for hearing aids. It's crucial to understand that while hearing aids can be bought from various sources, selecting the right provider is instrumental for treatment success.

Many individuals visit our clinic dissatisfied with previous experiences or inadequate treatment outcomes from other centers. It's important to recognize that achieving optimal results with hearing aids is not about secret treatments or exclusive devices; it's about adhering to comprehensive best practices and providing person-centered care. To help those beyond our Arizona-based clinic, we provide specific questions to consider, ensuring the clinic chosen adheres to best practices essential for a high level of hearing aid performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Evaluate potential clinics by their commitment to comprehensive best practices and personal care.
  • Initial consultations should provide ample time to understand unique hearing loss and user needs.
  • Consistent follow-up care and multiple brand offerings are indicative of client-focused service.

Critical Importance of Best Practices

When considering where to purchase hearing aids, it’s essential to ask, "Do you follow best practices?" Best practices are the cornerstone of successful hearing aid use. They encompass a series of procedures that we, as hearing care professionals, must perform to ensure optimal selection, fitting, and follow-up care of hearing aids.

Key Best Practice Procedures:

  • Real-Ear Measurement: Validates that hearing aids are programmed to your unique hearing prescription.
  • Test Box Measures: Confirms that your hearing aids meet manufacturer specifications.
  • Validation Outcome Measures: Tools like the COSI, IOI-HA, and APHAB assess whether you are subjectively benefiting from the hearing aids.

For an initial consultation, our clinic allocates a substantial amount of time, typically two hours, to thoroughly comprehend your hearing loss and personal requirements. This is crucial since a person-centered care approach needs a deep dive into your specific needs and values.

Initial Consultation Timing:

  • Standard Length: A minimum of 60 minutes to gather a complete understanding of your hearing loss and preferences.
  • For Hearing Tests Alone: At least 30 minutes.

During the trial period, we ensure multiple pre-scheduled visits to adjust your hearing aids correctly and address any concerns.

Hearing Aid Trial Period Visits:

  • Optimal Number of Visits: Three to four within a 30 to 90-day period.
  • Ongoing Support: Pre-scheduled appointments every three to six months to guarantee long-term success.

We also believe in offering a choice of hearing aid brands. No single brand is superior for everyone, so having multiple options ensures that we can provide the best match for your unique hearing loss and lifestyle.

Hearing Aid Brand Diversity:

  • Number of Brands: A selection of different brands to find the optimal one for you.

Lastly, the cost of the initial appointment is indicative of a clinic's motives. While some might criticize our stance on not offering free hearing tests, it signifies our commitment to treating hearing loss rather than merely selling hearing aids.

Initial Appointment Cost:

  • Value: Indicates a focus on high-quality treatment over simply selling products.

Initial Hearing Test and Consultation Duration

When you're considering where to obtain your hearing aids, the length of time dedicated to the initial hearing test and consultation is of utmost importance. We believe that a comprehensive evaluation can't be rushed. Here’s what we allocate:

  • Duration of Initial Appointment: Our clinic typically reserves two hours for this crucial first meeting.
  • Expectations: This extended time frame is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your hearing loss, as well as your personal needs and expectations.
  • Minimum Time Requirement: Even if you're coming in just for a hearing test, a minimum of 30 minutes is necessary, though 60 minutes is ideal to ensure a thorough evaluation.

Consider this schedule as a benchmark for quality care:

Appointment Type: Full Consultation & Hearing Test

Duration: Minimum of 60 minutes

Appointment Type: Hearing Test Only

Duration: At least 30 minutes

Allocating sufficient time reflects our commitment to person-centered care. We need to understand more than just your audiogram; we aim to appreciate your lifestyle, your challenges and how we can tailor the solution to optimize your hearing experience.

Should the duration offered by a potential provider be significantly shorter, it may indicate a focus on efficiency over effective treatment, which can compromise the quality of your hearing care. Remember, comprehensive care isn't a luxury; it's a necessity for successful hearing aid use.

Frequency of Appointments During Trial Period

When considering how often you'll be visiting us during your hearing aid trial period, we have a structured approach to make sure we give your devices the attention they need. Ideally, our schedule includes three to four pre-scheduled visits within the first 30 to 90 days. This frequency ensures we're consistently applying comprehensive best practice procedures.

Here's a breakdown of our appointment schedule:

  • Initial Visit: We'll fit your hearing aids and provide detailed usage instructions.
  • Follow-Up Visits: Scheduled at regular intervals within the trial period to adjust settings and answer any questions.
  • Periodic Check-Ins: After the initial phase, we'll pre-schedule future visits—typically every three to six months.

Why Pre-Scheduled Visits Matter:

  • Continuous Support: Pre-scheduled appointments cement your long-term success with the hearing aids.
  • Issue Resolution: Regular visits allow us to address potential issues proactively before they escalate.

Remember, clinics that only offer post-trial "as needed" appointments could be a red flag. Our pre-scheduled visits aim to forestall issues and ensure optimal performance of your hearing aids.

Pre-Scheduled Visit Rationale

Visit Type: Initial Fitting

Purpose: Customization and instruction

Frequency: Day 1

Visit Type: First Follow-Up

Purpose: Address initial adjustments and queries

Frequency: 1-2 Weeks

Visit Type: Subsequent Visits

Purpose: Further fine-tuning and assessment

Frequency: Monthly

Visit Type: Ongoing Check-Ins

Purpose: Long-term maintenance and optimizatio

Frequency: Every 3-6 Months

Ensuring you have a well-mapped plan for your trial period is crucial for the achievement of high-quality hearing outcomes with us.

Variety of Hearing Aid Brands Offered

We understand the importance of providing a variety of hearing aid brands to ensure that your treatment is tailored specifically to your individual needs. No single brand of hearing aids is superior for everyone, so it's crucial that we offer multiple options. We dispense devices from diverse manufacturers, giving us the flexibility to select the most appropriate solution for your hearing loss and preferences.

  • Diversity in Options: Our clinic ensures a range of hearing aid brands is available.
  • Personalized Selection: We carefully choose aids to match your unique hearing profile.
  • Transparent Approach: Our commitment is to your best outcome, not to a particular brand.

We believe in optimizing your auditory experience and that's possible when we match you with the right technology, without confining you to a single brand. Our goal is to see you hear your absolute best.

Cost Implications of the Initial Appointment

When considering the purchase of hearing aids, it's essential to understand the cost implications associated with the initial appointment. It is at this juncture where we examine your hearing loss in depth, discuss your individual requirements, and ensure we uphold comprehensive best practices for exemplary outcomes.

Initial Hearing Test and Consultation Appointment Duration

  • Our Clinic's Approach: We typically allocate up to two hours to thoroughly understand your hearing profile and personal needs.
  • Minimum Industry Standard: An appointment should be no less than 60 minutes to allow for a detailed assessment, unless it is purely for a hearing test, which may take around 30 minutes.

Initial Appointment Cost

  • Our Policy: The exact cost for an initial appointment will vary. We do not advocate for free hearing tests as it may reflect a focus on sales over genuine treatment.

Hearing Aid Trial and Follow-Up Visits

  • Trial Period: Expect between 30 to 90 days to assess the hearing aids.
  • Scheduled Visits: Ideally, three to four visits are pre-scheduled within the trial period to optimize the fitting and programming of the device.
  • Post-Trial Support: After the trial, ongoing pre-scheduled appointments should be anticipated every three to six months, at least initially.

Hearing Aid Options

  • Brand Diversity: We dispense multiple brands to ensure that the selection is tailored to your specific hearing loss and personal preferences, rather than being confined to a single manufacturer.

Understanding these components helps to provide clarity on what expenses to expect during the initial stages of acquiring hearing aids. Our aim is to prioritize your needs and ensure a high level of satisfaction with your treatment.


Essential Questions to Ensure Successful Hearing Aid Purchase:

  • Best Practices Adherence: Ensure clinics follow a comprehensive set of procedures to maximize hearing aid performance. Key examples include real-ear measurement, test box measures, and various validation outcome measures.
  • Appointment Duration: Our initial hearing test and consultation are designed to be thorough, requiring a minimum of 60 minutes to fully assess individual hearing requirements and personal needs.
  • Trial Period Follow-ups: Expect multiple pre-scheduled visits during the hearing aid trial period, ranging from 30 to 90 days, plus additional future appointments to guarantee long-term effectiveness.
  • Diversity in Hearing Aid Brands: We offer a variety of hearing aid brands to match the unique hearing profiles and preferences of our patients, rather than pushing a single brand.
  • Initial Appointment Costs: While free tests might seem appealing, they can signal a focus on sales over care. We believe in the value of thorough assessment and personalized treatment plans.

By addressing these five questions, we seek to ensure that our patients achieve the best possible outcomes with their hearing aids.

Video transcript

Video transcript

These are the five exact questions verbatim that you have to ask before scheduling an appointment to buy hearing aids. Since over a million people watch my YouTube videos every month, it's no surprise that a common question I get asked is, where should I go to buy hearing aids? After all, these days you can pretty much buy hearing aids anywhere. You can go online. You can go into an ENT clinic, you can go into an audiology clinic. You can go to the VA clinic. You can go to a big box store. Heck, you can probably even buy them from a guy who lives in a van down by the river. If you name it, you can probably buy hearing aids from them, but just because you can buy hearing aids anywhere doesn't mean that you should buy hearing aids anywhere. At least not if you want to have success with them.

Virtually half of the patients who come into my clinic only come in because they had a really bad experience at another clinic, or they had a poor treatment outcome from the place that they purchased their hearing aids from only to have to spend more money for us to fix the problem. Now, it's not that we have some secret treatment or some special hearing aids that you've never heard of. We just follow comprehensive Best Practices with a person-centered care approach to ensure that you get the maximum amount of benefit out of your devices. However, we're just one clinic in the state of Arizona, so if you're part of the 99.9% of channel viewers who do not live in Arizona, I wanna teach you the specific questions that you should be asking before deciding where to go to get your next set of hearing aids, and specifically these five questions.

The first question that you should ask before even scheduling your appointment is, "Do you follow Best Practices?" Best Practices are possibly the most critical component of achieving high level success with hearing aids. Essentially, they're a long list of procedures that must be completed by your hearing care professional to ensure that they select the best hearing aids for you fit and program those hearing aids the best way possible, and provide you with high quality follow-up care. Now, like I said, there are a lot of them. For instance, you have real ear measurement, which is the way that we verify that your hearing aids are programmed correctly to your hearing loss prescription. That is a Best Practice. You also have test box measures, which are used to make sure that your hearing aids are meeting manufacturer specifications. That is a Best Practice procedure. You also have validation outcome measures like the COSI, the IOI-HA and the APHAB, which are used to identify if you're having subjective benefit with your hearing aids.

That is also a Best Practice procedure, and these are only three of many Best Practices that must be completed to ensure that you have a high level outcome with your hearing aids. If you wanna learn more about Best Practices, I have an entire video where I explain them in more detail that I will link in the description. Now, remember, you are likely asking this question and all of the rest of these questions to the receptionist that may not have a detailed understanding about Best Practices. However, if a particular clinic does follow Best Practices, this should not be a foreign term to the receptionist at that clinic. Now, if the receptionist needs to go and ask one of the professionals if they do follow Best Practices, that's okay, but if they come back and say anything other than, yes, we follow Best Practices, then you do not pass go.

You do not collect $200. You do not schedule an appointment with that clinic. That being said, even if they say they do, that does not mean that they follow comprehensive Best Practices, which is why you need to ask more questions. The second one being, "How long are your initial hearing test and consultation appointments?" Obtaining a deep understanding of your unique hearing loss and your specific wants, needs, and values takes time. While my clinic typically schedules two hours for this initial hearing test and consultation, this is not the industry norm. Ideally, a clinic will schedule an initial appointment with you for at least 60 minutes or more unless you're only scheduling to get a hearing test done, which could take as little as 30 minutes. One requirement of following a person-centered care approach, which requires a deep understanding of your specific wants, needs, and values is time.

If you do not get at least 60 minutes with your hearing care professional before they actually make a recommendation to you on hearing aids, then chances are you're going to a clinic that is more focused on efficiency than they are optimal treatment outcomes. The third question you should be asking is, "How many times will I see my hearing care provider during my hearing aid trial period and on an ongoing basis?" While I do not like calling the initial fitting period with hearing aids a trial period, this is what most clinics call them, and they typically give you anywhere between 30 and 90 days to try your hearing aids. If they say that you only get one pre-scheduled visit and then after that visit, it's on an as-needed basis, this is a red flag and you should not schedule an appointment with that clinic. Ideally, a clinic will pre-schedule three to four visits inside of a 30 to 90 day window to ensure that they have enough time to follow comprehensive Best Practice procedures.

In addition to this, after the trial period is over, they should also be pre-scheduling visits with you in the future, approximately three to six months down the road, at least until you become an experienced hearing aid user. Pre-scheduled appointments ensure that you have long-term success with your hearing aids because as sure as I know that the sun will come up tomorrow, your hearing aids are gonna run into some issues that your provider's gonna have to solve for you. If a clinic just says, call us when you need us, that is another huge red flag because you know what? Most people don't call when they're small problems. They only call when it's a huge problem, but your performance has been declining the entire time. The fourth question you need to ask before scheduling an appointment to get hearing aids is, "How many hearing aid brands do you dispense?"

I cannot tell you how sick I am of hearing that one hearing aid brand is the best. If anyone ever tells you that their hearing aid is the best, then they're full of crap and you need to run the other way. The simple fact of the matter is, is that there is no one hearing aid brand that is best for everybody, so if you end up going into a clinic and they only sell one brand of hearing aids, then that means that they do not care about your wants, needs, values, or anything like that. They just wanna sell you whatever they have, regardless of whatever your hearing loss is. Sure the hearing aid they sell you will be better than nothing, but if your goal for hearing treatment is to achieve better than nothing hearing, then be my guest. However, if your goal is to hear your absolute best, then you need to make sure that you schedule an appointment with a clinic that dispenses multiple brands of hearing aids from different hearing aid manufacturers.

This way, your hearing care professional can select the best hearing aid for you, not the best hearing aid for them. And the fifth and final question that you should be asking before scheduling an appointment to get hearing aids is, "How much do you charge for the initial appointment?" Now, I know that I'm gonna get criticized for this one, but quite frankly, I don't care. If a hearing aid clinic gives away free hearing tests, what do you think that communicates about the motive of that appointment? Not always, but most of the time, that indicates that that clinic is more interested in selling you hearing aids than they are about treating your hearing loss. Now, that might not sound like much of a difference to you, but trust me, there is a huge difference between going to a hearing aid clinic that is focused on hearing aid sales and going to a hearing aid clinic that is focused on optimal treatment outcomes.

Sales focused clinics do everything in their power to drive in more leads. That's right. You're not called a patient. You're called a lead internally inside of these organizations so they can hard sell you on a pair of hearing aids only to get you treated with those hearing aids as quickly as possible to get you out the door so they can bring in the next person to hard sell hearing aids to. They know that if you do not buy hearing aids, that they just wasted their time because they gave you a free initial hearing test. On the other hand, clinics that charge for their initial hearing test and their initial consultation are much less motivated to sell you a set of hearing aids because they know that their valuable time is being compensated for. Do clinics that charge for initial hearing tests and initial consultation still wanna sell you hearing aids?

The answer to that is yes, but it is not their number one goal because they know they could sell a lot more hearing aids if they made this appointment free, rather than charging for it. They would just rather get compensated based on the quality of the time that they spend with you rather than devices that they sell to you. That being said, can you also get good service from a clinic that gives you a free hearing test? The answer to that is yes, but the probability of getting higher quality service is also lower. And there you go. Those are the five questions that I would ask - and why - before you schedule an appointment to get hearing aids. Notice that I did not tell you to ask how much your hearing aids cost or if you accept my insurance. If you're the type of person who wants to know the answer to those two particular questions, then chances are you're gonna find yourself in a really low quality clinic and your treatment outcome is not gonna be as good. If your goal is to hear your absolute best and you need to ask questions that will lead you to a better treatment outcome, not ask questions, that will lead you to a cut rate care. That being said, I have put together a PDF of these

particular questions that you can download from my website HearingUp.com, or from the link that I've put in the description of this video. If you have other questions that you have found to be extremely valuable in identifying a really good hearing aid clinic, then please leave us those questions in the comment section so we can all see them. Overall, your success or failure with hearing aids heavily depends on the clinic and provider that you see, and if you ask the right questions, it will significantly increase the chances that you'll love your hearing care professional and you'll love your hearing aids.

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