Do you have trouble hearing? Studies show about 54% percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 have age-related hearing loss. Unfortunately, there is no way to restore your hearing once it begins to fade, however, hearing aids are the result in order to help you hear again. What are hearing aids, you ask? Hearing aid is a small device that fits in or on the ear, they are typically worn by a partially deaf person in order to regain sound.
If you are one that is finding themselves hard of hearing, you might want to consider getting them. And when you do, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase. If you weren’t aware by now, hearing aids will vary by brand and style; they also come in different shapes, sizes and a variety of features. Each variation, of course, is offered in its own final cost. So how can you make sure your money is well-spent?
Here are 15 things you should consider before buying a hearing aid:
1. Do You Really Need One?
Before you decide to go and take the plunge and splurge on a hearing aid, ask yourself, is it really necessary? Sure, you might be hard at hearing, but to be absolutely sure and safe, consult with your doctor to get checked and diagnosed. You can also take a free online hearing test which will indicate if you should take further action to protect your hearing.
2. Hearing Centre
If you decide to purchase hearing aids privately or at your own time, it’s not necessary to buy them at the hearing center where you took your hearing test. Take your results and explore your options. The internet is a good initial start to research your options.
3. Size Doesn’t Matter
Like mentioned, hearing aids come in all sizes and shapes – but don’t let that confuse you. Some hearing aids are compact and stealth, so bigger doesn’t always mean better. Any size or shape you choose, the mechanisms in the small hearing aids are just as effective.
4. Find Someone to Help
Hearing aids should not be treated like an item you just picked up off the shelf at a convenience store or buy online from a big box store. It can be more complicated than what you may think, so to be safe and get the proper care you need, ask a professional provider to help you out. They can help you select the best hearing aid for your life.
5. Read Your Contract Carefully
Along with a 30 to 60 day trial period, you need to fully consider the warranty, maintenance choices and follow up appointments that come with your purchase. Ask for a written copy of the contract and read the fine print to see if there are hidden costs or nonrefundable fees.
6. Know That Hearing Aids Do Not Restore Your Hearing to Normal
Hoping you understand that hearing aids are not perfect or will restore your hearing to normal. While hearing aids are a great way to help you manage the negative effects of hearing loss, it’s not a cure for hearing loss. As soon as you take the hearing aids off you will still have a hearing loss. However, know that if you wait too long to start wearing hearing aids, it can have a negative effect on you.
7. Not Everyone Has the Same Experiences
It’s also important to understand that just because you know someone who has had a bad experience wearing hearing aids, it does not necessarily mean your experience is going to be just as bad. There could have been several reasons why that person may have not been successful with their hearing aids – but that doesn’t mean they do not work.
8. What Is Included in the Cost?
The hearing aid device you choose on, costs could vary anyplace from $1000 to $3500 per hearing aid. The costs will vary slightly depending on where you buy them. This often times depends on what is included in the cost of the hearing aids. Some offices may bundle the cost of the hearing aid and all professional fees into one amount, while others may charge you for the cost of the hearing aid but all professional fees not included. Make sure you ask your professional provider about the charges.
9. Battery Life and Size
The battery life is very important when deciding on a hearing aid. The smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the battery will be and the more often it will need to be replaced. This can vary anywhere from between 3 days to 17 days. If you are concerned about having to change batteries too often then you might want to consider a hearing aid that takes a large battery. Consult with your professional provider to help you understand the different sizes and batteries.
10. Figure Out the Return Policy
Make sure you have at least 30 days or even more to return a hearing aid for a full refund. When you receive your hearing aid, try it out full-time for several weeks, so that your brain is exposed to low-level sounds you haven’t heard for a while. After about three weeks, see the audiologist for fine-tuning.
11. Don’t Skip Out on Those Critical Add-Ons
Add-Ons can mean directional microphones and tele coils which are necessities in some careers and wireless technology means you can use phones with your hearing aid without having to resort to always using the speaker.
12. Understand the Difference Between the Models
Models will often vary in terms of their functionality. Pay attention to battery life and specific compatibility which you might require such as telephone use.
13. Two Are Better Than One
Wearing two hearing aids will help manage your hearing loss better. There are many benefits to using two hearing aids – trust me, it’s better.
14. Keep Moisture at Bay
All hearing aids can be affected by the buildup of moisture. This will stop the device from working so make sure you store the device in room temperature conditions and if possible using a desiccant device such as Zephyr.
15. Controlling Your Hearing Aids
With advancement in technology nowadays, the need for buttons and volume controls have declined. Nowadays, digital hearing aids are able to sample the environmental sounds and automatically adjust the sound within your comfort range. However, depending on the person, you might still want to manually control your hearing aids, either with a volume control, program button, or remote control. Figure out what exactly you prefer, and go from there.
Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at keevaorganics.com and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.