If you or a loved one has hearing problems, hearing aids can be a great and life-changing device. Before you talk to a specialist, here are some tips to help you make a well-informed decision.
1. Bring someone you trust. Bringing someone you trust with you to the doctor can help you make a sound decision. This is someone with whom you can mull over the options.
2. Find the right provider. Finding the right audiologist to help you make an informed decision is key when choosing the correct hearing instrument. You should research the potential providers and review his or her background and references.
3. Don’t wait too long. Many people wait far too long to see a specialist, letting their hearing unnecessarily deteriorate.
4. Give it some thought. Before you consult an audiologist you should consider your hearing priorities. Do you most often listen to the television or are you more likely to want to hear a conversation in a loud room? Your priorities will determine which technology and products will work best for you.
5. Have your hearing tested. You should have your hearing tested in a soundproof booth during your visit. This way the hearing aid can be adjusted specifically to your needs.
6. Consider add-ons. Though there are a number of nifty add-ons that can help individual’s in different hearing situations, don’t feel pressured into buying any. That said, they can be beneficial, depending on your budget and your needs.
7. Try before you buy. If possible, take the hearing aid out for a test drive. The audiologist might be able to simulate sound situations so you can see if you like the device. These sound simulations are important, so take your time when testing out the hearing devices. Once you buy the device, don’t leave until it is properly adjusted and working correctly.
8. Hold onto the receipt. Make sure you have in writing exactly what you’re buying and that you understand the warranty. Many devices will have trial periods, so if it’s not working correctly you can get a new one. Also make sure that you have frequent follow-ups with your doctor, especially in the first few months.
9. Train your brain. Your brain might not fully know what to do with the new sounds the hearing aids are producing. You might need some aural education and rehabilitation, so ask the audiologist about your options.
10. Save up. Hearing aids can cost a pretty penny, anywhere from $1,000 up to almost $4,000 and they are often not covered by insurance. These devices are very important to your quality of life, so save up!