If you’re shopping for your first hearing aid and finding the process confusing, you are not alone. Consumer Reports published a comparative report on hearing aids after following over a dozen people for six months while purchasing their first hearing aids. After six months the disappointing results were in: these first-time hearing aid owners were left with ill-fitting hearing aids with volumes either too loud or too soft. Customers wound up paying widely-varying prices for the same units, and did not always receive the kind of information they were looking for from the vendors. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips you can follow so you can find the most comfortable hearing aid for you and avoid expensive mistakes. However, we can’t cover all the information you need to make this important decision in this article so please have a read through Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids – a useful in-depth decision making tool provided by The Better Hearing Institute (BHI). The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is a non-profit that publishes information on hearing loss and its treatment, including this guide and many others. Here are our suggestions:
Seek professional help
Make an appointment with us or with another certified hearing specialist in your area, and read the information in the BHI guidelines before you go. The BHI guidelines will walk you through what you can expect at your first appointment and what questions you may need to ask your specialist.
Determine which type of hearing aid you need
Your certified hearing specialist will help you determine which hearing aid is best for you. During your examination in Step 1 they will conduct an examination and hearing tests to diagnose the type and severity of any hearing loss. Which type of hearing aid is best for you depends on the nature of your hearing loss, combined with your budgetary constraints.
Do your homework
After selecting the type of hearing aid that is best for your situation use the Internet to research different models. Your research should focus on any reports of problems or repairs, consumer reviews on comfort and reliability, as well as price comparisons.
Find a reliable vendor
This may be the hearing specialist you went to in Step 1, or someone recommended by them. Your hearing aid vendor should be trained and equipped to make molds of your ears to fit your hearing aid properly. Though it is tempting to purchase your hearing aid over the Internet, you would be skipping the critical step of having a custom fitting that would increase the likelihood of your hearing aid’s comfort and suitability.
Ensure proper fit and performance
This should be done before walking out the door after your first fitting, and the vendor you select should support this. A “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty and free follow-up appointments for fine-tuning and adjustments are standard with reputable vendors.
We are here to help you as you make the purchase of your first hearing aid and we wish you good luck on this exciting journey to better hearing!