If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, it means you have completed the first step in this process – hooray! While these results seldom elicit celebration, you are one step closer to improving your quality of life. That is certainly worth some excitement!
You are now faced with the decision of choosing the right hearing aids for you. Considering the effects of untreated hearing loss to include a decline in auditory working memory, social isolation, increased risk of falls and possibly early cognitive changes, the alternative seems much brighter.
This is the time to have an in-depth discussion with your audiologist about your hearing needs and listening lifestyle. Are you still in the workforce or are you retired? Does your job require you to communicate in noisy settings or mostly in quiet? Do frequent restaurants with your friends? Attend musical performances? Is there any buzzing or ringing in the ears? Are Bluetooth compatible options desirable to you? What is a comfortable price point? Do you have dexterity or vision issues? The answers to these questions will help your audiologist understand your current listening challenges and hearing aid preferences.
There are many technology levels and styles out there. Once you have narrowed down to a few options, it is helpful to “try on” the devices you are considering. A quick demonstration of devices will highlight the overall benefit with hearing aids. It may also help you to discern between the different technology levels.
Last but not least, it is important to discuss pricing, warranties, and the hearing aid trial period. In New York, hearing aid users are granted a 45 day trial period. Within this time frame, they have the opportunity to wear their devices out in the real world. Should the user decide to return the hearing aids, this can be done within the 45 day period. Check your local state regulations on hearing aid returns for more information.
Healthcare insurance may offer coverage for the purchase of hearing aids. Coverage varies from plan to plan and it may be subject to your deductible and co-insurance. If you are unsure, contact your insurance carrier for more information. It is crucial that you understand your financial obligations prior to the purchase of hearing aids so there are no last-minute surprises.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, you can make the best decision regarding your new hearing aids!