5 Reasons to Have a Companion at Your Next Checkup
Should you bring a friend to your hearing care appointment? You bet! Whether it’s your
significant other, a sibling, an adult child, a close friend, or another relation, we encourage
companions at appointments, and the research backs us up.
In one survey of 439 adults with diabetes or heart failure and 88 physicians, nearly 80 percent of
patients reported being more likely to understand the doctor’s advice when companions were
involved in the medical visit. In addition, 44 percent reported being more likely to discuss difficult
When it comes to hearing care, bringing a companion can help you in some important ways:
Emotional Support — Just 16 percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 who could benefit from
hearing aids use them, per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders. A companion can encourage you and cheer you on as you take an important step
toward better hearing.
Extra Perspective — Companions can provide a unique perspective on how you’re
experiencing hearing or lack thereof in your typical environments, explained Audigy senior
professional development manager Jesse Tervooren in a recent webcast. “Having that extra
perspective from someone who is with the patient in a lot of their everyday listening situations
can really help shed light on what some of those challenges might be.”
Enhanced Understanding — A 60- to 90-minute appointment can cover quite a lot of
information, notes Tervooren. A companion can ask questions that hadn’t been considered, help
with note-taking and later recall of key information, assist with translation if the doctor doesn’t
speak your primary language, and later remind you about follow-up activities and instructions
related to your care.
Deeper Awareness — You may not realize the impact of your potential hearing loss on your
loved ones, and they might not realize how it affects you. Your companion’s presence can
strengthen his or her awareness and ability to advocate on your behalf as you handle critical
hearing care decisions.
Technology Testing — Listening to your companion’s familiar voice while exploring new
hearing aids can help you give pertinent feedback to the provider who’s adjusting the devices
for your specific needs.
Did you know? When you bring a companion, you’re in good company. In a 2011-published
analysis of studies exploring patient accompaniment, over a third “of adult patients were found
to be accompanied to routine medical visits by a family companion, most commonly by a
spouse or adult child.”
Regular hearing checkups are crucial for your overall health, and having a companion with you
can be a big help. The next time you’re coming in, consider bringing a friend!
National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine. Family
and Friend Participation in Primary Care Visits of Patients with Diabetes or Heart Failure:
Patient and Physician Determinants and Experiences.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712763/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2017. National
Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Quick Statistics About
Hearing. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing. Accessed Nov. 7,
2017. National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Family Presence in Routine Medical Visits: A Meta-Analytical Review.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070824/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2017.