What to ask and know before purchasing hearing aids


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by Nancy Salim

You’ve spent a great deal of time and money on hearing aids…only to have them end up in a drawer. Or maybe you haven’t purchased yet, but are thinking about it. Avoid the common trap of not wearing your hearing aids and enjoy them instead with these tips.

Ask about the warranty. Most hearing aids come with a one-year warranty straight from the manufacturer. This typically covers one year of loss, damage and repairs. You’re responsible for repairs and maintenance. If repairs become too costly or frequent, it may be worth investing in a new pair. Make sure you are familiar with the types of damage and repairs covered in your warranty before purchasing a hearing aid.

Come in for a hearing aid demo. Today’s hearing aids come in a variety of different designs and colors—not to mention technology levels and features. The most common type of hearing aid is a behind the ear (BTE). It’s important to schedule a hearing aid demo where you can try on a hearing aid programmed to your level of loss and choose one with the technology level and features that meets your needs. Not every hearing aid will be appropriate for your type/degree of hearing loss or your lifestyle. For example, someone with an active lifestyle or who needs to hear well for work or in social environments may prefer advanced technology hearing aids. Features can include waterproof and Bluetooth compatible. If you have a more quiet at-home life, you may do fine with basic features like t-coil or wind noise reduction. That’s why it’s important to know what features are available, and which ones are important to you. Be sure to try out hearing aids before making a purchase.

Hearing aids can be programmed until they work for you. This means your hearing care professional can adjust and re-program your hearing aids until you’re comfortable with them—so don’t give up until you’re satisfied.  Today’s hearing aids also come with a feature that allows you to program settings for different listening situations—listening to music, out to dinner with friends or at home watching TV.

Hearing can change over time. You may notice that with your current hearing aids, it becomes harder to understand speech and sound. Even with hearing aids, getting an annual hearing assessment  will alert you to any changes with your hearing. Your hearing care professional may be able to adjust your current hearing aids to these changes, but if not, you can start thinking about upgrading your device to better serve your current hearing needs.

Hearing aids require maintenance and proper care. Like with any other digital equipment, proper care and cleaning is necessary to keep your device working properly. You’ll need to change the batteries anywhere from three to 22 days, depending on your hearing aid, the type and capacity of batteries and the amount of use. To avoid buildup of wax, use a hearing aid cleaning kit to clean your hearing aid. When you buy hearing aids, ask your hearing care professional if they include unlimited service. If you take proper care of your hearing aids, you might only need annual maintenance. Here are some other tips to help you extend the life of your hearing aid:



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