How To Buy Hearing Aids
Buying hearing aids can be a daunting task if you have not done it before as there seems to be very little information out there and the bit that is can be quite contradictory at times. Even if you are an experienced hearing aid user, you would only need to buy a hearing aid every 3 to 8 years, depending if you are an early adopter or someone who uses the hearing aid until it is on its last legs. During that time the whole industry and the available hearing aids would have changed, making it challenging even for someone who has been through the process to buy hearing aids again.
When you buy hearing aids you aren’t buying a computer or any other consumer goods, you are acquiring a medical device that will only work as well as the person fitting it to you.There are also a large number of hearing aids available to buy on the market. How do you even start to know which hearing aid is the right one for you?
The best starting place is finding a good audiologist, with experience in and the ability to supply a large range of hearing aids. Buying hearing aids from a company that is limited to only a few brands, might limit your choice and might mean that you are not necessarily getting the very best value for your money.
The audiologist will assess your hearing and during the test should also perform a number of tests to evaluate your ability or inability to hear in noise as well as look at what your hearing needs are. Based on this information the audiologists should then make recommendations linking you hearing loss and needs to a small number of suitable hearing aids. You should get concerned if you are only offered one brand, unless the audiologist can clearly state why that brand is best for your hearing loss. You might also want to ask what other brands they can supply that might perform similarly before you commit to buying hearing aids. Be wary if no brand and model is mentioned as some clinics use their own ranking system eg. Bronze, Silver, Gold etc levels to stop you from comparative shopping later on. Insist on knowing exactly which model you have been recommended, what is included as far as aftercare, warranty, batteries etc.
Remember that when you buy hearing aids, you aren’t just buying the device, you are actually buying the associated services as well. Hearing aids need to be properly fitted to your ears using your hearing test results and should also be verified to be working correctly in your ears. Ask your audiologist about performing real ear measurements as this vital step is often skipped to save time in some clinics, particularly where there is no contractual obligation such as with privately funded hearing aid buyers.Also look carefully at what aftercare is included, Aftercare is the amount of time that a clinic would offer you free adjustments for after you buy the hearing aids. Considering that audiologist’s time ranges from $200 to $400 per hour, this could become quite expensive later if not included with the hearing aid price. Hearing aids do need adjustments and repairs every now and then and you will also need your hearing checked once a year and fully tested once every two years. So if these are not included for a reasonable amount of time, you need to factor in these costs on top of the purchase price.
At Value Hearing & Tinnitus Solutions, we offer one of the largest range of hearing aids to buy in Australia. Even though we are not contractually obliged to perform all the tests and verification we do, we do them because we realise that they lead to greater client satisfaction. If you have been quoted elsewhere for hearing aids even if you are unsure of the exact model, request a hearing aid quote from use and compare the value we provide for yourself. If you are looking for a comprehensive hearing test for free, then why not try us and judge for yourself without any obligation?