Helpful Tips for Hearing Aid Shoppers
Whether you’re buying hearing aids for the first time or refreshing an older pair, you know that it’s important to shop around and compare different products before you buy. The wide range of capabilities, features and designs in modern hearing aids gives you a lot of options – but also some hard choices. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect hearing aid for your needs and getting a great deal as well.
BRING A FRIEND
One simple piece of advice for buying a new hearing aid is to bring along a friend, family member, or someone else you trust. Having a second person along with you when you’re looking at models can benefit you in several ways:
- They may think of questions to ask that you didn’t think of yourself
- They can offer their own perspective and advice
- You know the sound of their voice & it will serve as reference point as you try aids
- They can be an “impartial judge” who can offer opinions about style and other matters
If you do choose to bring someone with you, ensure they’re someone you’re comfortable having along. Also, be sure to involve them in the evaluation process – don’t just bring them and then ignore everything they have to say.
VISIT A TRUSTWORTHY AUDIOLOGIST
Not all audiologists and hearing aid providers are the same. To ensure you’re getting the right type of hearing aid for your needs and that you’re getting a fair deal, you need to find a hearing aid provider who is trustworthy, experienced and will be around to service your aids. Ask friends or family members if they have any recommendations for audiologists, or check reviews on websites and search engines to see what other customers have to say about a given provider.
UNDERSTAND YOUR HEARING LOSS
One key to finding the right hearing aid is knowing what you’re compensating for. Different types and severity levels of hearing loss might require a certain style or type of hearing aid. For instance, if you have severe or profound hearing loss, you may need a super-powered hearing aid that provides extra capability. The best way to understand the type and severity of your hearing loss is to get your hearing tested by an audiologist.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Choosing a hearing aid is based in part on your hearing ability, but it also depends on your needs and your lifestyle. If you’re an active person who is frequently outdoors or in crowded environments, your hearing aid needs will be very different from someone who spends most of her time at home or in quiet places. You should also think about how important looks and functions are to you. Do you want a subtle but more fragile in-canal hearing aid or do you prefer the higher power and longer battery life of a behind-the-ear model? Understanding the different types of hearing aids and what sets them apart can make it easier to find the one that’s right for you.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Most audiologists and hearing aid providers will allow you to “test-drive” a hearing aid before you purchase it. By using a disposable receiver tip, the audiologist can let you wear a hearing aid before buying it in order to see if you like the feel and capability of the device. Much like test-driving a car to see if you like it, it’s always a good idea to try out a hearing aid before purchasing it.
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
When you first start using hearing aids, your brain won’t be used to the extra stimulation that the devices provide. In fact, many new hearing aid users don’t wear their hearing aids as much as they should; they get exhausted from hearing all the “extra” sounds they used to miss due to hearing loss. To prevent this, you can invest in auditory training exercises which help your brain respond positively to your hearing aids. This training, which is also called “aural rehabilitation,” can help you develop good listening habits and deal with the increased stimulation from hearing aid use.
DON’T FORGET THE PRICE
Finally, when you buy a hearing aid, don’t forget to consider the price of the devices. Hearing aids aren’t cheap, and they generally aren’t covered by Medicare or private insurance. It’s important to understand the services included with the price of your hearing aids, and there may also be financing and other options available to qualified buyers.
Want to learn more about getting the perfect hearing aid? Ready to buy hearing aids of your own? At Audio Recovery, our Oklahoma City audiologists are ready to help. Call (405) 949-1906 today, or visit us on Facebook for more hearing aid tips and insight.