The selection and purchase of a first hearing aid can be an overwhelming task for anyone. The publication Consumer Reports followed a dozen people over a period of six months as they shopped for their first hearing aid, and reported on it. 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. Customers wound up paying widely-varying prices for the same units, and did not always receive the kind of information they were looking for from the vendors. 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. However, we can’t cover all the information you need to make this important decision in this article so please have a read through Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids – a useful in-depth decision making tool provided by The Better Hearing Institute (BHI). 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. In addition to their suggestions, here are ours:
See an audiology professional
Make an appointment to see one of our audiology specialists or any other certified hearing specialist in your area. You can be best prepared for your appointment by reviewing the BHI guidelines beforehand. It will help you to ask the right questions and know what the right answers are.
Select the hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle
This depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss, and should have been determined by tests performed by specialists during Step 1. 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
After determining the type of hearing aid you need, use the Internet to look up information about different models. Your research should focus on any reports of problems or repairs, consumer reviews on comfort and reliability, as well as price comparisons.
Locate a reputable vendor
This may be the hearing specialist you went to in Step 1, or someone recommended by them. The vendor should be able to make molds of your ears and fit the aids properly. Though it is tempting to purchase your hearing aid over the Internet, you would be skipping the critical step of having a custom fitting that would increase the likelihood of your hearing aid’s comfort and suitability.
Your hearing aid should fit comfortably and sound great
Your first fitting should include tests by your vendor to ensure comfortable fit and good function of your new hearing aid. Most reputable vendors will do this, and provide a “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty, complete with free followup fittings or adjustments, if necessary.
Good luck, and know that our specialists are here to help you in any way that we can.