The selection and purchase of a first hearing aid can be an overwhelming task for anyone. Consumer Reports published a comparative report on hearing aids after following over a dozen people for six months while purchasing their first hearing aids. After six months the disappointing results were in: these first-time hearing aid owners were left with ill-fitting hearing aids with volumes either too loud or too soft. Even within this small group of people the price range for these hearing aids was huge and they were not always provided the best information by the retailers. To spare you this experience, in this article we’ll try to provide a few tips to help you when shopping for your first hearing aid. This article is too short to provide all the tips that would be useful, so to supplement it we recommend Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids. It is an article provided by a non-profit corporation called the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), which provides educational materials about hearing loss and how to correct it. Here are our suggestions:
Consult a professional hearing specialist
You can do this either by calling us for an appointment, or by consulting another certified hearing specialist in your area; either way we suggest you read the BHI guidelines before your first appointment. The BHI guidelines will walk you through what you can expect at your first appointment and what questions you may need to ask your specialist.
Select the hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle
This is decided while working with the specialists, who will use tests they conduct during Step 1 to determine your type and severity of hearing loss. Which type of hearing aid is best for you depends on the nature of your hearing loss, combined with your budgetary constraints.
Do your research
Once you know which type of aid is bested suited for you, go to the Internet. Look for price comparisons from different vendors, reports on the frequency of problems and repairs, and most important, reviews from users as to the unit’s comfort and reliability.
Find a reliable vendor
The vendor may be the specialist you saw in Step 1, or can be someone recommended by them. Your hearing aid vendor should be trained and equipped to make molds of your ears to fit your hearing aid properly. You can buy hearing aids over the Internet, but because most models must be custom-fitted, we do not recommend this.
Your hearing aid should fit comfortably and sound great
The vendor should perform tests to make sure of a proper fit and that everything is working correctly during your first fitting. A “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty and free follow-up appointments for fine-tuning and adjustments are standard with reputable vendors.
We are here to help you as you make the purchase of your first hearing aid and we wish you good luck on this exciting journey to better hearing!