The Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Hearing Aid
Getting our hearing tested regularly is something we should all do, especially as we age, ensuring we stay a firm part of the world around us and safeguard our mental health. Should you find your hearing isn’t what it once was, there’s no way better to ensure it’s adequately corrected than seeking help from a professional, especially when picking out the right hearing aid for you.
In fact, your Hearing care professional is key to the process of getting your hearing corrected as they’ll be able to let you know your specific type of hearing loss and present you with a selection of hearing aids to meet your needs. Nowadays, hearing aids are more like minicomputers fitted to your ear, which means you’ll want to consider an entire range of specifications before settling on the right one for you.
With that in mind, there are a few key questions you should be sure to incorporate into the process of selecting the most appropriate hearing aid. Let us walk you through them!
1. How experienced is your Hearing care professional?
Test centres across Canada differ in the qualifications they require of their Hearing care professionals, which means that just because someone can sell you a hearing aid, it doesn’t mean they’re qualified to assess your hearing. A branch of medical studies that requires a substantial amount of background knowledge to be done right, audiology is a specialisation in its own right, so it’s worth making sure the person assessing you is trained and experienced enough to do so.
Consider asking your Hearing care professional about their credentials, training, and years of experience to ensure they have the skills to provide for your needs.
2. What is your Hearing care professional’s approach to fitting hearing aids?
The next question leads on nicely from the previous one as if your Hearing care professional is qualified and trained, they’ll know that different types of hearing loss require different types of aids. This means that each patient has to be assessed and their hearing tested in several ways to determine the problem before a solution can be suggested. Your Hearing care professional should therefore take a personalised approach to fitting every hearing aid, as there’s simply no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
3. What types of hearing aids do they provide?
Once your hearing has been tested, and any hearing loss identified, your Hearing care professional should present you with at least a couple of hearing aids to choose from. Hearing centres will differ in the aids they have available in terms of everything from features to functionality and cost, so it’s essential you’re aware of your options before you make your choice. Do you have enough options to choose from? Have the differences between each aid been properly explained to you? Ensure you get all the information you need to make an informed decision!
4. Can their aids be customised?
While some aids are manufactured to a standard shape and size, others are custom-made to purposely fit your unique ear shape, ensuring increased comfort and discretion. If this is an important factor for you, ask your Hearing care professional about hearing aid customisation and upgrading options sooner rather than later to ensure you get exactly what you want.
5. What are your options for insurance coverage and payment?
Once your hearing has been tested and your options presented to you, it’ll probably be worth asking whether your Hearing care professional works with any insurers and your payment options. Are any payment plans cost-effective, and what do they cover? Is there any way you can minimise out-of-pocket costs for your hearing aid by ensuring aftercare and maintenance are included in the price?
6. What types of follow-up care and support do they provide?
While on the subject of aftercare, it’s critical that you ask your Hearing care professional about their policy once you’ve got your aid fitted. Are follow-up appointments included to ensure your aid keeps working as it should? Can you pop back in to get your hearing aid adjusted free of charge, or would you have to pay an extra fee? Are you covered by any warranty? If so, what does the warranty cover – all parts and repairs or only certain items? And what’s the deal if you need any repairs, are they covered, and for how long?
7. Is any remote care provided, or would you have to go into the store?
This question may be important if you live far away from a store, as if your Hearing care professional provides remote care, it may make it all that easier for you to access. Is this option a possibility, or would you always have to visit a physical store to get any questions answered?
8. What is their policy on returns and exchanges?
Following on from repairs and maintenance, how about returns and exchanges if you aren’t happy with your hearing aid? Though we hope it’s not the case, it’s always best to know your options and that you’re covered in the event that your aid doesn’t quite meet your expectations. Would you be able to swap your aid for another one, or even return it and get your money back?
9. Can you have a trial period on your hearing aid?
One way to avoid having to pay for your aid and then returning it if it doesn’t meet your needs is testing it out for a trial period. Is this an option at your Hearing care professionals of choice? If so, how long can you test it for, and how does the trial period work? Would giving a hearing aid a try make you more comfortable making a long-term investment, and does your Hearing care professional provide trial periods on all the types of hearing aids available?
These are all key questions to ensure your comfort and satisfaction with the hearing aid you end up choosing.
10. Finally, can you gain access to ongoing training on using and maintaining your hearing aid?
If we go back to the idea that a hearing aid is like a minicomputer, it’s only natural that it’ll need ongoing maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition. Can your Hearing care professional train you on how to maintain your hearing aid, long-term? Do they provide any instruction manuals? Will your hearing be safeguarded, ensuring you get the most out of it for years to come?
Now that we’ve covered the main questions you should be sure to ask your Hearing care professional, we hope you feel armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision. When you book an appointment at Hear Right, you’re sure to gain access to professionals who are more than ready to answer any and all questions you may have, ensuring you’re comfortable with every step of finding the right aid for you.