All You Need To Know About Buying Hearing Aids

Guest Contributor 

As hearing loss becomes a widespread problem, there is extensive research in this field. Medical researchers have come up with a wide range of therapies and equipment to help people suffering from this challenge. Use of hearing aids can resolve it to a considerable extent and also improve the quality of life for such patients. However, a lot depends on choosing the right kind of aids so that you can avail the best benefits. Of course, your practitioner can help you but still, you need to know a few things so that you can pick the right ones:

1. Hearing aids come in different varieties
The market has a variety of devices to suit diverse needs and preferences. Before you buy hearing aids, it is important to know all about them so that you can judge the type that works best for you. The Behind-The-Ear (BTE) device, as the name implies, sits comfortably behind the ear. It is small in size but can still be visible. This type of aid is suitable for everyone as it helps patients with any level of hearing loss. If you want a hearing aid that is completely invisible, opt for the In-The-Ear (ITE) device that fits in the ear canal. Again, it is apt for all levels of hearing loss but is not recommended for patients with dexterity issues as fitting can be a challenge.  Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) is a type of ITE that audiologists recommend for patients with certain ear shapes.

2. Know about its battery life and size
Another factor that you need to consider - hearing aids before you buy is their battery life and size. The smaller the size of the device, the smaller will be the battery it houses and the replacement will have to be done more frequently. The battery life lasts between 3 days to 17 days for most devices. If you want to have one that lasts longer than the best option is to buy the ones with sizeable batteries.

3. There is nothing like one-size-fit-all with hearing aids
If you are going to shop for hearing aids, don’t just opt for the one that your friend uses and recommends. The one-size-fit-all approach does not work here as no two patients will have the same requirements and same experience with same hearing aids. The extent of their problems may be different and so may be the shape of their ears. It is best to consult an audiologist to evaluate your condition first and then suggest the device that would perfectly match your needs.

4. One will not do when you need two
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to buy a single device instead of two. The practice will not do any good as both the ears would need help if there are problems with them. Using two aids to hear is known as binaural amplification and is far more helpful for the patient as it gives them better sound quality and reduces their efforts.

5. Costing is important too
Costing is perhaps the most significant concern when you are looking to buy hearing aids. The price depends on the style and technology you choose. Another aspect to consider is whether the provider bundles up the professional fees with the cost of the devices as some of them add the specialist’s visit and fitting fees as a part of the package. You may compare the ones that charge only for the device with those giving the package deal and choose the most cost-effective option.

6. Check the warranty period
There are two warranties that the manufacturers give for the buyers. The Loss and Damage Warranty assures complete replacement of the device in case if loss or irreparable damage. It may last from 1 year to 3 years based on the manufacturer’s policy and the technology level of the device.  The other type of warranty is repair warranty which assures the buyer that the hearing aid will be repaired by the manufacturer in case of any problem within a specified period of time, generally between 1 to 4 years. Ensure that you get these warranties while you buy the hearing aids.

7. Ask for a trial period
Specialists say that it may be to align with the hearing aids, particularly if you are a first-timer. So it is better to ask for a trial period before you pay upfront. You may not feel comfortable with a particular type and want to exchange it after some time. Some providers give you a trial period from 30 to 90 day depending on their policies. During this period, you can exchange the device if you feel like trying something else. Make sure that you clarify this with the provider or better still, have it mentioned explicitly in the purchase agreement.

8. Understand that they help not heal
Another important thing that you should know is that hearing aids help but do not heal the hearing problems. They enable a patient to restore the normal hearing but cannot get it back to normal. However, it is better to start wearing them sooner rather than later to prevent the problem from getting worse.

9. Proper care is essential
You should be aware that like all other medical devices, hearing aids need proper care and maintenance to prolong their lifespan. For instance, they need to be kept dry and clean. Also, turn the battery off when not in use. Ask the provider for these instructions and also go through the user manual carefully.

10. Buying online is a good idea
There are several reputed online sellers like that offer high-quality hearing aids at the right prices. Online shopping economizes the purchase as some sellers even give special deals and batteries for free as you buy the devices from them.

Following these guidelines while buying hearing aids can help you pick the best ones that are just right for requirements and budget. Always consult your audiologist and get their advice before shopping for them. 


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