Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Choose Hearing Aids

Hearing loss can affect your relationship with friends and family, your ability to perform at work, or your capacity to enjoy simple activities like watching TV and meeting new people. A hearing aid can address many of these problems, if you can find the right one for you. But when you are shopping for hearing aids, where should you begin?

First, it is important to be evaluated by an audiologist or hearing aids specialist. They will determine the extent of your hearing loss, be able to recommend hearing aids that suit your needs, and fit the hearing aids to your ear. Remember, however, that you should be offered a choice of brands and styles. You should also be able to expect that the person helping you choose a hearing aid can educate you about different hearing aid features, like feedback suppression and noise reduction, and how they affect the performance of the hearing aids.

The provider should also take your budget into consideration when helping you choose a hearing aid. Some insurance plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids or batteries, so check with your insurer before you purchase your new hearing aid. The cost is generally over $1000, and can be more than $3000 if you buy a more expensive model.

Part of the cost of buying hearing aids includes follow-up evaluations with your provider or doctor. A new hearing aid is a big change that may be uncomfortable at first. Follow-up appointments are a chance for you to explain any discomfort you feel. Sometimes your hearing aid will need an adjustment; sometimes you may need to get a different model. Follow-up appointments are an important part of integrating the hearing aid into your lifestyle and improving your quality of life.

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