On the face of it, purchasing a hearing aid would seem like a relatively straightforward task. But, given the number of options available, and a host of individual factors, such as the exact nature of your hearing troubles, it can actually be a bit of a challenge. A study by Consumer Reports, which involved tracking people over a six-month period of looking for a hearing aid found that two thirds of people were either fitted wrong for their aid or the hearing aid provided too much or too little volume. The price paid for the hearing aids varied significantly, and retailers did not always offer up the most helpful information necessary to make a proper purchasing decision.
Here are just a few tips to avoid this same dilemma.
See a Qualified Audiology Professional
If you are in need of hearing aid, it is crucial you visit a qualified audiologist for proper testing. He will be able to make the proper recommendations regarding the device. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask and bring them to the appointment. This tip seems kind of obvious, but many people skip this important step.
Research the Appropriate Hearing Aid
So, if you followed step one and met with a professional audiologist who performed the appropriate hearing tests, he was able to make a recommendation about the most appropriate types of hearing aids for you. Armed with this information, you can now do a bit of research. Learn about the different models, and get price comparisons from different vendors. Check out reviews from people who have bought these hearing aids, and search for any reports detailing how frequently problems are encountered and repairs needed.
Find a Trusted Vendor
If you will be purchasing the hearing aid from the audiologist you visited in step one, you are already set. But, if you have not yet found a vendor, make sure you choose wisely. Get recommendations from trusted sources, such as your audiologist. A good vendor will make molds of your ears to ensure the device fits properly. These days, you can buy anything online, and it may be tempting to just buy your hearing aid from a web-based retailer, but resist the urge. A custom fitting maximizes the chances the hearing aid will be suitable and comfortable for you.
A good vendor will allow you to try on the hearing aid to ensure a comfortable fit before you leave from your first fitting, and provide free follow up sessions to fine-tune the performance or fit. A ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ warranty should also be part of the package.
The inability to hear properly can significantly impact your quality of life. It may limit enjoyment of activities, compromise your ability to do your job properly and make social outings less enjoyable. It can increase anxiety and make you feel self-conscious. A good hearing aid can be a life-changer literally. Don’t rush your purchase. Go through the proper steps to ensure you get one that will address your needs.