Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Audiologist Advice on Buying a Hearing Aid

Two audiologists discuss purchasing a hearing aid.

As with a decline in eyesight, hearing loss can have a profoundly negative influence on your or a loved one’s life. But unlike eyesight and the purchase of glasses, buying hearing aids can be confusing. No one knows this better than an audiologist. So what kind of advice do audiologists give about buying a hearing aid?

Do Reasearch: Discuss with your audiologist which hearing aid features will best fit your needs. There are a wide range of hearing aids available for today’s consumers and they have many unique features, not all of which are necessary for everyone. Here's a post on hearing aid styles and Secondsense Hearing Solutions has a comparison of models to help you out.

Don't Cheat Yourself: Find out how much of your hearing aid purchase is covered by insurance, and be aware that your insurance might claim to cover 100% of your hearing aid costs, but that coverage may only apply to the base model. When you are fully aware of the coverage offered by your insurance, you can make better choices.

Do Check Credentials: Make sure the hearing health professional you chose has an advanced degree and read this post to learn the difference between an Audiologist, an ENT, and a hearing aid dispenser.

Don't Buy Online: There are many places to buy hearing aids. But not all sources are recommended or equal. Buying hearing aids online could void the warranty. Make sure you are buying your hearing aid from a certified hearing health professional.

Do Ask About Follow-Up Care: Hearing aids require several follow-up appointments in order to get the sound system tailored to your specific hearing loss. Most audiologist include all follow up care and adjustments in their price, but this isn't always the case with hearing aids purchased online or in big chain stores.

Don't Forget Service: Do ask how the device will be serviced. Best is on-site service, but if an aid must be sent away, find out if you’ll be provided a loaner aid. Ask how much service typically costs for a device that’s out of warranty. Don't automatically buy an extended warranty up front. After an out-of-warranty repair, the manufacturer may provide a new, free warranty - typically for 12 months.

Do Consider Insurance: Hearing aids can be easily lost or damaged on trips or through other non-warrantied instances, and in many cases the extra insurance is not that high and depending on the price of the hearing aid might warrant serious consideration.

As well as taking note of all this great advice before purchasing a hearing aid, it's important for people who have any hearing loss, which can adversely impact your physical and emotional well being to seek treatment as soon as possible. Time lost to untreated hearing loss can never be regained.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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