The selection and purchase of a first hearing aid can be an overwhelming task for anyone. The publication Consumer Reports followed a dozen people over a period of six months as they shopped for their first hearing aid, and reported on it. 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. Even within this small group of people the price range for these hearing aids was huge and they were not always provided the best information by the retailers. That said, there are tips that can help you when shopping for your first hearing aid, and in this article we’ll cover a few of them. 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). It is an article provided by a non-profit corporation called the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), which provides educational materials about hearing loss and how to correct it. Here are our tips:
Step 1 – Seek professional help
You can do this either by calling us for an appointment, or by consulting another certified hearing specialist in your area; either way we suggest you read the BHI guidelines before your first appointment. Those guidelines will help you to know what to expect, and what types of questions to ask.
Step 2 – Select the hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle
This depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss, and should have been determined by tests performed by specialists during Step 1. Settling on the perfect hearing aid for you will take into account the type of hearing loss you are experiencing as well as your budget.
Step 3 – Do your research
After determining the type of hearing aid you need, use the Internet to look up information about different models. Look for price comparisons from different vendors, reports on the frequency of problems and repairs, and most important, reviews from users as to the unit’s comfort and reliability.
Step 4 – Locate a reputable vendor
This vendor may be your hearing specialist from Step 1 or someone they referred you to. Whoever you select as the vendor, make sure they have the proper training to make molds of your ears and fit hearing aids properly. You can buy hearing aids over the Internet, but because most models must be custom-fitted, we do not recommend this.
Step 5 – Make sure the aids fit and work properly
The vendor should perform tests to make sure of a proper fit and that everything is working correctly during your first fitting. Most reputable vendors will do this, and provide a “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty, complete with free followup fittings or adjustments, if necessary.
Good luck, and know that our specialists are here to help you in any way that we can.