What to ConsiderWhat hearing aid is best for you depends a lot on the type and severity of hearing loss that you have. Before going shopping for a hearing aid, there are some factors that you should consider:
- See an Audiologist--An audiologist is a professional who can help you choose the right hearing aid and be sure that everything fits and is well adjusted. Ask your doctor for a referral to an audiologist. A good audiologist should not sell only one brand of hearing aid or be doing any other sales tricks – he or she should be focused on finding the best hearing aid for your situation.
- Looks--For some people, looks are very important. There are types of hearing aids that are nearly invisible and others that match your skin color. These options may cost more, but if looks are important, there are many alternatives for you.
- Operation--Hearing aids can be tiny. People with vision difficulties or difficulty handling small objects may not want the smallest hearing aid available. Changing batteries may be impossible for them.
- Trial Period--Some companies offer a “test drive” for a hearing aid. This is a good idea. You need some time to know if the hearing aid is going to meet all your needs. Be sure to check if the company charges for the “test drive.”
- Cost--What will your health insurance company pay? Will they cover all types of hearing aids? Hearing aids can cost several thousand dollars, so it is worth your time to make a few phone calls.
- Compatibility--Some hearing aids are compatible with assistive hearing devices. Be sure to check about compatibility if you use a telephone amplifier or other device.
- Service--Be sure you understand the warranty being offered with a hearing aid – for both the hearing aid and the battery. Where can you get new batteries? Who pays for repairs? Where can you get the hearing aid repaired? What is you have a question? How long does the warranty last? Will they send you a temporary hearing aid while yours is being repaired?
More Resources on Hearing Aids:
Source: National Institutes of Health. Hearing Aid Basics. NIH Pub. No. 99-4340
National Institutes of Health. Hearing Aid Basics. NIH Pub. No. 99-4340