5 Mistakes to Avoid When Picking out a Hearing Aid
March 21, 2017 at midnight
Hearing aids are an expensive item, but the right one can increase your quality of life considerably. Although the cost can exceed $1,500, a well-fitting hearing aid can alleviate feelings of isolation and allow you to interact more easily with friends and family. Purchasing a hearing aid is an investment. It requires some planning and effort. Avoid these common mistakes to pick out the right hearing aid.
Not taking advantage of audiologist consultations
Your audiologist is your guide to the world of hearing aids. To find an audiologist in your area, start by asking your doctor for a recommendation. A reputable audiologist should take the time to address your questions and complete a hearing test. Once the hearing test is complete, the audiologist should be able to recommend a hearing aid that will address your specific needs. It is at this point that people often make the mistake of not asking more questions. This is the opportunity to address your concerns about how the hearing aid looks, how it works and how to take care of it. The audiologist's recommendation should accommodate your needs.
Getting distracted by add-ons
Hearing aids now have additional features like telecoil, for talking on the phone or wireless connectivity. Some manufacturers will promote these add-ons, but you should consider if they are the best fit for you. Do you need wireless connectivity if you have no internet and no Bluetooth phone? Probably not. However, it may be worthwhile to get the model that can synchronize between your ears if you are wearing two hearing aids. Keep the price lower by getting only the features that you need.
Not considering design limitations
Every hearing aid has advantages and disadvantages. The small, completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aid is the most inconspicuous. However, its batteries do not last as long as larger models (like an over-the-ear hearing aid). The tiny batteries may also be harder to handle. Many smaller models also do not have features like directional microphones (for hearing individuals in a crowded room). Remember that every design has advantages and disadvantages.
Disregarding the training
Many hearing aids come with free training. These training sessions show you how to complete basic tasks, like turning up the volume, using the directional microphone or changing the batteries. While some of these tasks seem like common sense, it makes sense to take advantage of the free training. Using and maintaining your hearing aid properly will extend its lifetime and usefulness.
Purchasing for the present
Although many audiologists match the hearing aid to your current needs, many people have deteriorating hearing. The hearing aid that worked two years ago might not work now. Avoid this mistake by purchasing a hearing aid that can be adjusted as your needs change. Your hearing aid should be able to adapt to your needs for years to come.
A hearing aid is an investment. Like selecting good stocks, selecting the right hearing aid requires diligent research and learning. There are many resources, including your audiologist, to help you through the process. Take advantage of these resources to help you find the best hearing aid for your needs.