8 Important Questions to Consider When Buying Hearing Aids
Getting hearing aids is a big step for any individual. It can be a stressful, disheartening, and complex process, but at the end of the day, you’ll be one step closer to getting tip-top hearing. With better hearing, your quality of life is bound to increase. Whether you’re in the middle of considering getting a hearing aid consultation or already picking out your hearing aids, make sure to ask your provider some key questions. The answers to these can make or break your experience with your hearing aids down the line.
#1 What type of hearing assessment do you offer?
A hearing specialist needs to conduct an assessment to determine the level of hearing loss you have in order to proceed with suggesting a treatment plan. However, there are a variety of different assessments they will conduct to get an accurate depiction of your hearing loss. Don’t be afraid to ask what those assessments are. If the hearing aid provider simply wants to conduct an online hearing evaluation, that most likely won’t give you full insight into your hearing capabilities. Ensure the specialist has the necessary means to accurately determine your hearing loss with equipment and in a professional setting (clinic).
#2 What is included in my hearing aid plan?
When you opt for hearing treatment, the clinic may offer a package or bundle (if you’ve visited an hearing clinic) that includes not only the hearing aids, but assessments, warranties, regular check-ups, maintenance, and so on. The included services and perks vary from provider to provider. Upon asking this question, you may find out that only the hearing aids are covered in the price. In that case, you may want to branch out and find a clinic that offers a hands-on approach to your hearing health by offering you support for years to come when you need it. It’s great to know what you are getting for the price.
#3 How can I maintain the quality of my hearing aids down the line? Is there any hearing aid care I need to uphold?
Hearing aid care and maintenance is necessary if you want to uphold the quality and integrity of your hearing aids for years to come. The average lifespan of hearing aids ranges from 4 to 6 years, depending on the model and how well you maintain them. Keeping your hearing aids dry, storing them in their case when not in use, and cleaning them thoroughly from time to time are among the precautions you can take to steer clear of damage to your hearing aids. It’s an added advantage if your hearing aid provider also supports the maintenance of your hearing aids in case of malfunctions or damage.
#4 Are your hearing aids supported by a warranty?
At the end of the day, hearing aids are technological devices, and similar to buying a phone, it’s vital that you get a hearing aid model that is supported by at least 2-3 years of warranty. You can never be sure that the hearing aid you purchased doesn’t have any factory malfunctions or flaws. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry, which is why it’s important to ask for the details of the supported warranty. At least a one year warranty on your hearing aids is standard.
#5 What factors do you consider when suggesting this specific type of hearing aid?
A hearing care professional will typically evaluate your level of hearing loss and lifestyle to match a pair of hearing aids to you. We want to ensure that your equipment is in sync with your daily life. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle, you may need a pair that is more secure in/around the ear canal. Others may prefer a discrete model that seamlessly fits inside the ear canal. There are certain trade offs with varying types of hearing aids. Some offer directional microphones, others have a longer battery life, and some are more high-tech than others. You may have some wiggle room with your decision as long as you communicate your needs and preferences with the hearing care professional.
#6 Do these hearing aids support syncing with remotes, smartphones, or other home devices?
As mentioned before, modern-day hearing aids aren’t much behind in innovation than other tech available on the market. Newer models support connecting and syncing to a variety of other household devices to make your experience seamless and comfortable. For example, your hearing aids can have the technology to connect to your TV or other devices for an optimized experience. The hearing aids themselves may be remote controlled as well. There are a lot of features you can tap into to get the most out of your experience with the right pair of hearing aids. Ask your hearing care professional if the model they recommend for you supports linking to other devices, that is, if it’s in your best interest.
#7 Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
If I have hearing loss in one ear, should I only wear one or two? Often your hearing care professional will suggest wearing a hearing aid in each ear for better balance and sound localization. In certain situations where there is an exceptional circumstance, one hearing aid can perfectly suffice. Make sure to bring up this question to understand what option will be best for your specific case.
#8 How will you find the best fitting hearing aid for me?
People with hearing impairments typically wear hearing aids all-day long (with the exception of bedtime). In that case, you need to be sure that your hearing aids fit perfectly, not too snug or too loose. In order to get the best fit for you, a custom fitting session is necessary. Sometimes, even a few fittings may be necessary until the hearing aids fit as they should. Feel free to ask the hearing care professional about the fittings that are included in the purchase to ensure you are getting the best possible experience.
Keep these questions handy the next time you visit your hearing aid clinic. Happy hearing!