With many different styles and brands of hearing aids available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some things to consider when buying a hearing aid:
Consult an Audiologist
Visiting a qualified Audiologist should be your first step. These experts will provide an audiometric evaluation in order to determine the extent of your hearing loss. They will also assess your medical case history for more significant details. The data they gather can pinpoint a suitable hearing aid for you. Should there be any medical options to improve your hearing, your Audiologist will recommend you see an otolarngologist or ENT for further advice prior to fitting you with amplification.
Basic performance over unnecessary add-ons
Some hearing aid providers might offer certain add-ons to your device. One example is a remote control that means you can use the hearing aids with your mobile phone via a Bluetooth connection.
Other features include enhanced sound quality (useful for music lovers), better performance detecting speech when there is background noise, the option to upgrade the hearing aid technology in the future at a significantly reduced cost when compared to buying a whole new set of hearing aids.
Although the features may seem useful, they might also be unnecessary expenses. Ask yourself if there are numerous occasions when you might benefit from these features. This can help you determine if any of the add-on’s value is justified to your needs.
Always try before buying
Purchasing a hearing aid from some online retailers can be risky. Even if you are able to see an image of the model and get information about it, there is a chance it may not feel comfortable when you wear it.
You also have no opportunity to work with an Audiologist (who is an expert on hearing aids) to get the best results for your hearing needs.
It is highly recommended to purchase a hearing aid from a physical store where you can trial the hearing aids for free, and develop an ongoing relationship with a fully qualified Audiologist. Audiologists can provide a hearing test to help you determine if a device is suitable for your hearing condition and refer you on for medical treatment if your hearing loss is treatable surgically. You can also check if wearing a specific hearing aid for a long period of time would be comfortable.
Check what is covered in the price
Does the price include any ongoing services, such as appointments or maintenance (including batteries)? It can take a long time to get the settings right, and also your hearing may change over the years, so these kinds of services are very important.
Check your health insurance plan
Hearing aids can be a significant investment. The average life span of hearing aids is 4 to 7 years. Many health funds will provide a partial rebate on the purchase of hearing aids, and it is strongly recommended to contact your health fund prior to your appointment. Medicare does not cover hearing services or hearing aid as they are considered as outpatient services.
Some health insurance plans also will cover part payment of hearing tests, hearing rehabilitation services and device parts. Always check your insurance coverage to ensure you do not have to pay more than necessary for your auditory health.
Are you on a pension or do you have a senior’s card?
There is an excellent program run by the Office of Hearing Services where you are entitled to free hearing services and hearing aids. These include a range of fully subsidised models and ‘top up’ hearing aids with additional features are available at additional cost.
If you are not on a government pension but have a Seniors Card, Affordable Hearing offers free hearing tests and a 5% discount over and above our already low prices off full priced hearing aids.
Always remember to have your hearing checked out by a hearing specialist before looking for a hearing aid. To book, call Affordable Hearing on 1300 658 742 today.