1. Find The Right Provider
Find the right provider and begin with a diagnostic hearing evaluation, which is the “blueprint” for your individualized recommendations. Ninety percent of your success with hearing aids is related to the professional you work with. An audiologist is a university-trained, doctoral-level specialist in hearing care unlike a hearing aid specialist who is not required to have any formal training.
2. You Want Options Specific To Your Lifestyle
Work with a provider who can give you options specific to you and your lifestyle. Your audiologist should be able to choose from a variety of hearing aids by a number of respected manufacturers. Franchise or “chain” stores often do not provide this flexibility for consumers. Hearing aids purchased from these providers usually cannot be re-programmed by other professionals due to the limited brand of technology used.
3. Hearing Aid Technology Varies
There are significant differences across hearing aid technology. A hearing aid uses a tiny computer chip to process sound. More sophisticated computer chips have better processing which result in improved satisfaction and performance. Costs can range from $999 to $3,000 per hearing aid, depending upon the level of technology. Advanced technology with enhanced features will cost more than simpler technology and perform better in more demanding listening environments.
4. There Is A Standard Of Care
Make sure your audiologist uses specialized diagnostic and verification equipment, including real-ear probe microphone and speech mapping measures. These sophisticated tests independently verify how the hearing aid functions while in your ear. Speech tests in the sound booth with the hearing aids in quiet and noise also help validate benefit. This is the standard of care you can expect our clinic.
5. Routine maintenance
Regular follow-ups are necessary so expect to pre-schedule your appointments. Routine maintenance and regular monitoring of hearing and hearing aids are critical to success. Hearing aids are electronic devices used 8-12 hours every day and subject to earwax, sweat, and hairspray. They need proper care to keep them functioning at optimum performance.
6. Satisfaction Guarantee
A hearing aid purchase should include an assessment period during which the hearing aid fee is either fully refundable, or has a minimum non-refundable amount, if the device isn’t satisfactory. Be sure to ask about the other options available if a particular device doesn’t work out during the assessment period.
7. Be informed
Advertisements that offer big discounts or special “discount plans” are usually based upon inflated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). “Free trials” are often non-custom devices fit under “study or clinical trial.” These marketing techniques can be misleading because hearing aid manufacturers conduct these studies prior to new product release.
8. Be Aware Of Online Stores
Hearing aid manufacturers discourage the sale and purchase of hearing aids online, especially those which are not directly supported by local, licensed professionals trained to fit their sophisticated hearing aid technology. Hearing aids purchased online may not be warrantied, may be difficult to get refunded, and in some cases take advantage of the online consumer. Florida law prohibits the purchase of hearing aids online or through the mail in order to protect consumers.