Find the right hearing aid for you using the tips from an article recently published in the second Hearing Health edition.
For the average consumer, sorting through the plethora of hearing aid advertisements— and coming to terms with their unexpectedly high cost—is a lot to absorb. The entire process, known as a hearing aid evaluation, can be confusing and overwhelming
After the audiologist reviews the results of your hearing test, practicalities need to be discussed such as: if you need one or two hearing aids, styles, sizes, color preferences, batteries, volume control issues, options for using the telephone, remote controls and any other buttons. Some decisions about cosmetics will be driven by the amount of hearing loss you have and if you experience any dexterity or visual challenges.
You should be asked specific questions about your communication, lifestyle and what you want the hearing aids to accomplish in terms of listening goals. Once the audiologist understands your goals, they will let you know what’s realistic and will make recommendations about the level of technology that’s required to meet your needs. Today’s hearing aids are digital and have computer chips inside that process sounds and speech. Depending on the complexity of the chip, the hearing aid will have access to different functions and options to assist with communication in various environments, including noisy ones.
Assessing your needs
There are three levels of technology: entry, mid-range and advanced. Pricing varies from about $1000 to $3000 per hearing aid. Based on all of the information you’ve discussed leading up to this point, the audiologist will advise as to which level of technology would work best for you.
NAVIGATING THE OPTIONS: Selecting a hearing aid can be overwhelming. An audiologist plays a key role in guiding a consumer to their best fit and style
Test it out
You should also receive information about the warranty and trial period. It is mandatory that you have at least a 30-day trial period for your hearing aids. In the event things don’t work out as planned, you have the option of returning them, less a nominal fee.
There are three factors to being successful in buying a hearing aid. First, you have to be motivated to address your hearing loss and its challenges. Secondly, the hearing aid has to be the right match with the appropriate features. Finally, the audiologist has be someone you connect with and has the tools to help you. If all three of these things fall into place, your hearing aid purchasing experience should run smoothly and set the stage for a positive outcome.
M.A.CCC-A, Reg. CASLPO
The Canadian Hearing Society