Think about the last time you bought a pair of pants. There are a variety of different fits, styles, colors, materials and patterns, all of which can change the way the pants look on you and the price to purchase.
For most of us, we gravitate toward either look, fit or cost, but don’t put too much time into picking out a pair. But imagine if those pants could change your life. Imagine if those pants could restore one of your senses—and your self-confidence. Would you then take that decision a little more seriously?
If you’re one of the nearly 29 million U.S. adults who could benefit from using a hearing aid, you probably realize that there is an option to help with the restoration of your hearing. But before making what could be a life-changing decision, you owe it to yourself to do a little research.
We’ve compiled a list of five questions you should probably ask yourself if you’re considering buying a hearing aid.
1. Who can help me find the right hearing aid? Or am I on my own in figuring out what hearing aid is best?
Absolutely not! If you’re serious about a hearing aid, we highly recommend you consult with a hearing specialist. These knowledgeable and credentialed professionals can provide you with a hearing test to evaluate the degradation level of your hearing. From there, a hearing specialist can discuss different manufacturers and models of hearing aids and the pros and cons of each.
2. Am I going to find a hearing aid to be uncomfortable?
You should know that everyone’s experience with comfort can vary since no two ears are identical. However, a hearing specialist can help you find a hearing aid that fits the unique structure of your ear for a fit that provides comfort and reassurance. While it may take some time to become physically used to having the device in and around your ear, you might find social settings to be more comfortable due to an enhanced ability to hear others.
3. How long will the battery last?
That’s a great question, but the answer will vary depending on the model you select. First, it’s important for you to understand that there are hearing aids with both disposable and rechargeable batteries. For those with disposable batteries, you can expect these batteries to last between three and seven days. That means you may end up changing batteries multiple times per week, and you run the risk of being vulnerable if your hearing aid batteries die while you’re away from home. (Psst..also check out these tips for making hearing aid batteries last longer.)
On the other hand, there are rechargeable batteries, which some manufacturers will encase in a compartment that you’ll need to drop in a tabletop charging station. New advancements in technology over the last few years have made rechargeable batteries more of a practical choice as many can now hold a 24-hour charge. As a result, you’ll be able to charge them while you sleep and may be able to avoid the risk of losing power at an inopportune time. Depending on the model, these batteries can last several years. The downside is that the manufacturer must replace some rechargeable batteries when they die, so you may be without your device while they do that, though many hearing aid retailers will offer you a loaner.
4. Are there any other interesting features to look for?
Manufacturers are routinely adding new innovations to hearing aids, but one of the more recent improvements includes being Bluetooth enabled so you can seamlessly connect with sound sources like televisions, radios or cell phones. Your hearing specialist can tell you about this technology, which models use it and any other exciting features you may be interested in.
5. What will my hearing aid cost?
This is also something that can vary by model and features. There’s also a chance that your insurance could help cover some or all of the cost related to your hearing aid. However, the typical hearing aid will cost between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on features.
Buying a hearing aid is not at all like buying a pair of pants, so it’s imperative that you take the time to understand how a specific device can help you. If you have more questions, we encourage you to search through our Hearing Aid section for all the latest on style, technology and how to choose the right model for you.