By Laura Mergen, AuD, CCC-A, Audiology Consultants, PC
Purchasing your first set of hearing aids can be overwhelming. There are so many questions that you may have and so many questions you may not even know to ask. We are going to try and break down those barriers, and give you advice on what to look for when purchasing this large investment in your hearing health care.
- The very first step is to schedule a hearing test to determine whether or not you need hearing aids. This test will also help determine which hearing aids will work best for you.
- The most successful hearing aid users wear their hearing aids during all waking hours (with some exceptions for exposure to water and loud noise). Commit to consistent, daily hearing aid use, rather than deciding to wear your hearing aids “as needed.”
- Have good expectations. If you are like most first time hearing aid users, your first reaction will likely be, “These are loud,” followed by, “These are tinny.” Hearing aids take time to get used to using. Like anything worthwhile, using and listening with your hearing aids will take practice.
- Choose a hearing health care professional. You should consider the knowledge and skill set of the person you are purchasing your hearing aids from. An audiologist is someone with advanced education and training in the field. Hearing aid use is a long-term thing, so you will be working with your audiologist for a long time. Be sure you find someone you like and trust and who treats you well.
- Your audiologist will likely have some recommendations for which hearing aids are best for you. This includes the style or size of the hearing aids, as well as the level of technology. Take your audiologist’s advice into consideration, but ask questions! You are investing in better hearing!
- Consider what “extras” are included with the purchase of your hearing aids. How long is the adjustment period and the warranty? Is there a fee for cleaning your hearing aids once the warranty expires? Are batteries included? Is there a limit to the number of free office visits?
- Once you are fitted with your hearing aids, re-commit yourself to wearing them full time. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks to fully adjust to wearing hearing aids. The more you wear them, the quicker you will adjust!
- If you have any problems with your hearing aids, from how they sound to how to handle them, write it down. Then when you see your audiologist for a follow-up appointment, you can be sure to address those issues.
- Hearing aids should be cleaned and checked by your audiologist or a trained technician at least twice a year.
And last, but not least, enjoy being able to hear your family and friends!
For more information call Audiology Consultants, PC, at 563-355-7712 or visit www.audiologyconsultants.com.
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