Whether you are getting your first set or looking for an upgrade, purchasing hearing aids is an investment, one you want to make wisely. They come in different sizes, styles and with a variety of features, so how do you know what’s right for you?
For that matter, how can you spot a scam product, because there are plenty of low-quality hearing aids out there? Here are seven things to consider when choosing hearing aids.
1. You Need Professional Help
It is common to lose some of your hearing as you age. In fact, about one in every three people over the age of 65 does suffer a decrease in their hearing, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. You shouldn’t just assume you are one of them and start shopping for hearing aids, though. Start with a trip to a hearing specialist for an ear exam and a professional hearing test. The test will come in handy if you do need to purchase hearing aids.
2. Size Isn’t Everything
Small hearing aids aren’t necessarily the most practical choice, and larger ones also don’t automatically have more power. In the world of hearing aids, size is a very relative thing. Size is determined in part by what your hearing test reveals. Some types (and levels) of hearing loss require a more powerful, larger model, and that should be your first consideration. After all, if the hearing aid doesn’t address your hearing loss, why would you get it in the first place.
3. No Two People Have the Same Hearing Needs
It’s okay to ask around to see what brands and models other people like but keep it in perspective. Choosing a hearing aid is a unique experience, so what works for one person may not be right for you. When you do query others, focus more on features. Ask what features they like best and why what they wish they had gotten and what they could live without – this is information you can use as you shop.
4. You Need a Warranty & Ongoing Help
This is the difference between the cheap online hearing products that just amplify sound and a quality hearing aid you purchase from a certified professional. You are making a significant investment, so why wouldn’t you want a warranty? If it doesn’t work the way you want, will the store help you adjust it? Ask what warranty comes with any model you look at such as:
- Is there a loss and damage warranty?
- How long is it?
- Does it offer a full replacement?
- Protect your investment by buying from a retailer that offers a full warranty.
5. You Want a Trial Period
Along those same lines, you only want to consider units that come with a trial period – preferably 30 to 90 days. This allows you to wear the hearing aids and see if they fit well into your life. It protects you from buying a product that isn’t comfortable, too. Ask about the trial period and get it in writing before you sign anything.
6. Hearings Aids Need Maintenance
It’s something you might not plan for, but it is necessary. Ask your retailer about a maintenance program to increase the shelf-life of your hearing aids.
7. You Need Two
You really do. You have two ears, and if you buy a hearing aid for just one, it won’t go well. The hearing process is designed to be synchronized and, without that, you might actually hear worse. Understand before you shop that you are buying two products.
Approach buying hearing aids the same way you would if buying a car. Do some research beforehand and make a list of the features you need.