Asheville: 1863 Hendersonville Rd., Suite 121 Asheville, NC 28803
Hendersonville: 132 South Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Committed to providing high quality hearing healthcare

How to Prepare for your Appointment with a Hearing Instrument Specialist?

middle aged man receiving hearing test from professional ear doctor

Visiting a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) is generally a very straightforward experience. You can expect to be seen in private but will remain dressed throughout. The examination will be both entirely non-invasive and completely painless. You can make the most of the visit by preparing effectively for it. Here are some tips to help.

Remind yourself of your medical history

You may be sent a questionnaire before your visit to the HIS. If not, you will either be asked to complete one during your visit or questioned directly by your HIS. Remember, the more completely and accurately you can answer these questions, the easier it will be for your HIS to help you.

Clean your ears

Your HIS will perform a series of tests to identify the exact nature and extent of your hearing loss. For these tests to be accurate, your ears need to be clean. If your ears are blocked by wax, your hearing loss may seem worse than it actually is. This could result in you being recommended an unsuitable hearing aid.

How to clean your ears

You can book an appointment with your doctor to have your ears professionally cleaned. You may, however, find it more convenient just to clean your ears yourself at home. If so, then it’s advisable to buy some over-the-counter ear drops to soften the wax in your ears. Once you have done this, you should be able to clean away the wax with a warm, damp washcloth.

It’s fine to use cotton pads but avoid using cotton swabs. These can cause a lot of damage to your eardrum if they slip into your ear canal. Never put anything directly into the ear canal.

For completeness, irrigating your ears with a saline solution may help to clear earwax. That said, it usually works best if you use ear drops first. The problem with ear irrigation is that there are several situations in which it shouldn’t be used. The safest advice, therefore, is just to avoid it and stick with ear drops.

Think about your lifestyle and preferences

Visiting a HIS isn’t just about getting fitted for a hearing aid. It’s about getting fitted with the right hearing aid for your lifestyle and preferences. It’s, therefore, best to spend some time thinking about how you live your life now and what you would like to do in the future. Here are some points to consider.

How much does visibility matter to you?

It’s worth noting that even the bulkiest modern hearing aids are still less obtrusive than the ones you might have seen in old films and TV programs. What’s more, the bulkiest modern hearing aids are generally only suggested to people with severe hearing loss. If your hearing loss is mild to moderate, then you’ll have plenty of more discreet options.

How comfortable are you with technology?

Similarly, the more discreet a hearing aid is, the more high-tech it is. This means that it can be more challenging to learn to use. Again, only you can decide whether or not this is a fair trade-off for the extra discretion.

Research hearing aids

Once you’ve thought about what you want in a hearing aid, do some research on the different types of hearing aids. The main ones are:

  • Behind the ear (BTE)
  • Receiver in the ear (RITE)
  • In the ear (ITE)
  • In the canal (ITC)
  • Completely in canal (CIC)
  • Invisible in canal (IIC)

It might also help to learn about some of the newer hearing aid technologies available.

Note any questions you have

It’s totally normal for your research to raise a lot of questions in your mind. Your visit to a HIS is a great opportunity to have them answered. You just need to remember to ask them. It’s, therefore, a good idea to keep a written note of your questions.

You can use your phone for this but this is one occasion where paper may be a better option. There’s a good chance that some of your questions will be answered as you are talking to your HIS. If so, then you can check them off your list.

You can ask the rest at appropriate points or at the end of your visit. Your HIS will almost certainly ask you if you have further questions. If they don’t then just let them know you have a few points you’d like to have explained.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, then contact The Hearing Guy at Asheville: (828) 820-2001 or Hendersonville: (828) 398-0978.