Hearing aid consumer preferences

Today's hearing aid users have a much wider choice of makes, models and styles to choose from than ever before. Hearing aid providers offer a comprehensive range of hearing aids that are small and discreet and provide the latest in state-of-the-art technology. Consumers can now choose a hearing aid that not only addresses their hearing needs but also fits with their preferences and lifestyle.

Hearing aid preferences

The main factors that should guide your choice of hearing aid are the type and degree of hearing loss you have. Some hearing aids are designed for people with a mild or moderate loss while others are specifically developed to help people with a more severe loss of hearing. There are other factors that people often consider important when buying hearing aids. These include:

  • Hear in noise
  • Remote microphones
  • Streaming audio
  • Hands-free calls function
  • Access to hearing loop systems
  • Rechargeable device
  • Durability and water-resistant
  • Hearing in quiet
  • Fit verification and ongoing aftercare

Tips for buying hearing aids

Hearing aids cannot restore your normal hearing. But they are an important investment that can enhance your quality of life. Here are 10 things to consider when purchasing hearing aids:

1. Find a qualified hearing specialist

The best place for you to buy your hearing aids from is a qualified hearing care professional who can diagnose and treat your hearing loss. Try to get recommendations from family, friends or ask your doctor. Checking customer reviews is also a helpful way to find out more about a provider and other customers’ experiences.

2. Have a thorough hearing evaluation

A good hearing care provider will ask you questions about your health and medication history, along with your lifestyle and any particular preferences you have for your hearing aids. They should also carry out a thorough hearing test and evaluation to identify your specific type of hearing loss and the treatment that will be most appropriate.

3. Your lifestyle

Hearing aids offer more than just amplification. You need to know that the hearing aids are right for your lifestyle, so think about what you need them to do for you. You may spend a lot of time in noisy environments, enjoy listening to music or attend public functions at places with challenging acoustics. Also, keep in mind if you have any dexterity issues – a small hearing aid may not be so easy for you to use.

4. Your budget

Hearing aid prices can range from £395 to more than £1,995 for a single hearing aid. The price you pay largely depends on the level of technology and accessories that come with it. Hearing aids are an important investment for your hearing health, so consider your budget and talk to your provider about a realistic price point for your hearing aids.

5. Try before you buy

You should never buy a hearing aid without having tried it out first. This will tell you if the hearing aid is comfortable and suitable for your type of hearing loss. Look for a provider that offers in-store demos and trial periods. This way, you can test it out in your normal environment and find out how all the features work and make adjustments.

6. Features and add-ons

Remember to ask about what features and add-ons are available with the hearing aids. Some features you may want to consider could include:

  • Feedback cancellation
  • Directional microphones
  • Telecoils
  • Remote programming capability
  • Multiple channels
  • Multiple memories
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Digital noise reduction

7. Battery lifespan

A small hearing aid will require small batteries that will likely need replacing regularly and you will have to factor this into the cost of the hearing aids. Bigger units may not be so compact but possibly more cost-effective. If you would rather not have to replace batteries altogether then consider rechargeable options instead.

8. Fittings and aftercare

Having a comprehensive hearing aid fitting ensures your new hearing aids fit correctly, provide adequate amplification and don’t move. But it’s only until you wear them in your daily life that you will know if they are truly optimal for you. It’s common to need several follow up appointments to have your hearing aids adjusted. Check what aftercare is included, how long it’s for and what it includes.

9. Know your warranty

Check the warranty for your new hearing aids before you commit to buying them. Your hearing care provider should give you a copy of the warranty and clearly explain what it does and doesn’t cover. Check that you know the length of time the warranty covers, if you have the option to extend it, who covers the warranty and whether it includes repairs and maintenance.

10. Check the contract

Hearing aids are a significant financial investment, so make you know the precise details for the trial period for your hearing aids and the return policy. You should receive a written copy of the contract and check the small print to make sure there are no hidden costs or non-refundable fees.

There are many styles and types of hearing aids available now, each offering an array of features and functions to improve your hearing and quality of life. While finding the right hearing aid may seem a daunting prospect, a hearing care professional will be able to diagnose your hearing loss and help you choose the best hearing aid for you.

With you on your journey to better hearing.

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