Hearing Blog

Ten helpful tips for hearing aid buyers

November 13, 2020

Buying new hearing aids is an important decision with the potential to greatly enhance your quality of life. The following tips can help you navigate the journey and find the right hearing aids for your unique situation.

1. Find a qualified hearing specialist

There are a variety of hearing health professionals who can diagnose and treat your hearing loss. Look for a hearing specialist with strong professional qualifications — including education, experience, and a good reputation in the community. Remember that price is not the only question when you’re searching for a provider. And if you see advertisements for hearing aids at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Undergo a thorough evaluation

A comprehensive evaluation is the first step in identifying potential hearing loss and finding the right solution. Your evaluation should include a visual examination and several different types of hearing tests. An impression of your ear canal may also be taken using a silicon-based putty to determine if you are a candidate for invisible or in-canal hearing aids. Your test results should be clearly explained so you understand if you have hearing loss and, if so, what type and how severe it is. You should also clearly understand the types of sounds you’re missing with your specific loss.

3. Carefully consider your investment

Hearing aids have a value as well as a price. As you decide what you can afford, make sure you consider the benefits that different styles or technology levels can bring to your life. As you select a style and technology level, be sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what’s included for the price. You should get a written contract outlining the cost of the hearing instruments as well as the professional services included — such as follow-up visits for training and device adjustments.

4. Consider custom-fit hearing aids

When you order custom-fit hearing aids, an impression is taken of your ear using a silicon-based putty. The cast from the impression is usually quite accurate in replicating the shape of your ear, but in rare cases the process needs to be repeated. Since hearing aids are worn all day, work with your professional to ensure that they fit well and feel good so you can get the full benefit of hearing aids. Talk to your hearing professional if a customized earmold is uncomfortable, or if it moves or whistles when you talk or chew.

5. Follow up with your professional

Be sure to keep follow-up appointments with your hearing specialist so he or she can make sure your hearing aids are working as well as possible for you in every situation. It’s normal to need adjustments as you get used to hearing a full spectrum of sounds again. Your hearing aids may initially be set for first-time users, with adjustments made as you are ready for them.

6. Ask about accessories and apps

Today’s hearing aids are easily controlled and adjusted using apps on your smartphone. There are also sleek wireless accessories available that let you stream music, TV shows and phone calls directly to your hearing aids. There are even hearing aids with built-in sensors enabling you use an app to monitor your physical and cognitive health, and much more.

7. Take the time you need to adapt

Remember that hearing loss usually occurs gradually over a period of years, and many people don’t realize how many sounds they’ve been missing. It will take time to adjust to hearing sounds around you that you are not used to hearing. Your brain will eventually readjust to hearing those sounds again, but it may be tiring at first. Tell your friends and family members that you’re getting used to new hearing aids. You may also need to remind them they don’t need to speak so loudly anymore.

8. Know the return policy

Be sure to find out exactly what the trial period is for your hearing aids and whether or not there are fees associated with returning them. You should also find out if you’ll have the opportunity to try a different model if the first model you try doesn’t work well for you.

9. Understand your warranty

Your hearing specialist should provide you with a copy of the warranty and clearly explain what is and isn’t covered under it. You may also be able to purchase an extended warranty or loss/damage insurance that covers you after the warranty has expired.

10. Hear better and live better

People who get hearing aids tell us all the time, "I wish I would have done this sooner" and "I can't believe how much I've been missing." That's why the last tip is to give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your new life of better hearing.

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