Hearing aids are amazing pieces of technology. They mimic a complex sense and allow you and your brain to stay healthier as you age. Not only are hearing aids a bigger investment than something like glasses—they are smarter. Hearing aids are minicomputers, fitted with sophisticated software that are constantly measuring and assessing the acoustic environment. Hearing aids aren’t just sitting there—they work with you and your brain. So if you are in the market for hearing aids, here’s a couple of things that you should know about them before you buy.
Fittings. Hearing aids aren’t like glasses. With glasses you can put them on and they generally require little adjusting for you to be able to see. Hearing aids are complex, intricate and personal pieces of technology. They may require a few professional adjustments when you first get them to make sure they are calibrated to your specific needs. Audiologists also have specialized training and years of education to help get this fitting correct, and their offices have sophisticated equipment to properly fit your hearing aids.
Repairs. You hope nothing happens to your hearing aid and they are built to last, but finding out how your hearing aids will be repaired or even serviced can be useful. Depending on the type of repair needed, it may be serviceable on-site. Otherwise it may need to be shipped back to the manufacturer for service, and you will likely receive a loaner pair of hearing aids. Ask how much repairs can typically cost, if an extended warranty is included in the purchase price, and if they offer insurance. You might not want to buy an extended warranty if the manufacturer already provides one for the first year.
Lifestyle matters. If you like to swim, jog, hike or dance you want to have a hearing aid with technology and features that match your lifestyle. It’s important to give your hearing provider as much information as you can about yourself, so that he or she can recommend the best hearing aid for you. Today’s hearing aids have a lot of features you may want and some you don’t. Before you buy, make a list of “must haves” for your hearing aids so you know what’s out there!