Hearing aids are often the most effective means to manage hearing loss. Unfortunately, they will not cure your hearing loss, but rather make your hearing loss manageable provided they work well for you. In this blog post, we cover the top things you need to know before you think about purchasing a hearing aid.
20 Things You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids
So, before buying your first or next hearing aid here is a list of 20 useful things to know about hearing aids.
- Do you really need one - If you have any doubts about your hearing, get it checked and diagnosed. You can take our free online hearing test which will indicate if you should take further action to protect your hearing. However, most hearing aids can provide only little benefit in cases of profound hearing loss.
- Know your rights - If recommended by a hearing specialist, a hearing aid can be obtained through the NHS at no cost. A waiting list will apply and choice of hearing aid type is limited but it is an option.
- Hearing centre - If you decide to purchase hearing aids privately, you do not have to buy them at the hearing centre where your hearing test took place. Take your results and explore your options. Use the internet to research your options, it is a powerful tool.
- Private hearing aids vary in price - Make sure to allow plenty of time to research well. Prices can vary and the difference can be in the thousands. Pay attention to over-engineered, over-priced and over-sold hearing aids on the private market.
- Decide on the type - Hearing aids vary in the way in which they fit your ear. Some fit inside your ear, others behind and so on. Be sure to research your options. Learn more about hearing aid types here.
- Understand the difference between the models - Models will often vary in terms of their functionality. Pay attention to battery life and specific compatibility which you might require such as telephone use.
- Check the return policy - If the hearing aid does not come with a full money back guarantee, then it may be wise to look elsewhere. You should not be faced with paying for something that does not deliver tangible benefit.
- Check for warranty - Look for devices that include a manufacturer warranty. The standard warranty is 12 months and normally can be extended nearer the expiry date.
- You have options when buying privately - If you decide to godown the private route, hearing aids are available from high street chains and online where you will get better value for your money. For example, this includes Specsavers and Boots.
- Hearing aids won't make your hearing loss worse - A myth in some circles, wearing hearing aids does not make your hearing loss worse, in many cases, it can reduce the onset of hearing loss.
- Two are better than one - Wearing two hearing aids will help manage your hearing loss better. There are many benefits to using two hearing aids, in the same way as you are unlikely to buy a monocle to help with visual correction required for both eyes. We have two ears and two eyes for a reason!
- Too loud can cause hearing loss as well - Hearing aids have to be set in accordance with the Medical Device Directives within European legislation as too much amplification can damage your hearing.
- Hearing aids can be worn with glasses - Just pay attention when removing the glasses so not to dislodge the behind the ear styles.
- Battery life varies - The longevity of the battery will change from one device to the next and will greatly depend on how often the device is used.
- Hearing aid batteries should not be placed in the bin - Safely dispose of hearing aid batteries. Check with your local authority about possible collection hubs.
- Be mindful of pets - Cats and dogs seem to favour the taste of hearing aids. Make sure to store the device safely and away from pets.
- Broken hearing aids can be repaired - But... if the hearing aid is outside of its warranty, consider a new device as the cost of repair can sometimes equal a new aid especially those available online.
- Invisible hearing aids are not magic - These are very small, but normal digital hearing aids which fit inside the ear canal and not necessarily expensive. They are as invisible as it is possible to get, especially our Signia Silk Nx hearing aids. Be wary of those trying to offer you completely invisible hearing aids.
- Used hearing aids are a bad idea - They will often include outdated technology and no return policy. Don't leave your hearing improvement to chance and stay away from used hearing aids.
- Keep water away - All hearing aids can be affected by the build-up of moisture. This will stop the device from working. Make sure you store the device in room temperature conditions and if possible using a desiccant device such as Zephyr.
About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, as well as information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.
Author: Gary Hill
Gary comes from 16 years’ experience in the hearing aid industry in both manufacturing and retail. Before co-founding HearingDirect, Gary was Marketing Director for a leading global hearing aid brand; GN ReSound where he worked for the UK sales division and latterly in their global headquarters in Copenhagen. He was responsible for developing and launching major global hearing aid models, conducting extensive research into the needs of the hearing impaired community and their performance demands of hearing aids and other devices.