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Many people with hearing loss choose to buy their hearing aids at chain stores. But this can be a big mistake.
1. Get a Hearing Test
If you are having trouble hearing, the first thing to do is get a hearing test. It’s painless, quick, and will give you the information you need to take the next step.
Your audiologist will help you decide what type and technology level of hearing aid is right for your needs. They will discuss this with you at your hearing aid consultation appointment.
Hearing loss is a serious issue that can affect every aspect of your life. It has been shown to impact your earning power, the intimacy and connections in your family relationships, emotional stability, and even physical health. In addition to that, people with untreated hearing loss can also suffer from depression and social isolation. Getting treatment for your hearing loss will drastically improve all of these things.
If you have noticed a decrease in your hearing, scheduling an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible is important. They will be able to prescribe the correct treatment and will make sure that your ears are healthy.
Hearing loss may be a symptom or side effect of another condition, such as heart disease. These conditions can impact the delicate sensory cells in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. The good news is that most of these conditions can be treated with the appropriate medications, which can reverse your hearing loss.
A common way to tell if you have an undiagnosed hearing problem is if you find yourself having to ask others to repeat themselves frequently or struggle to hear in noisy environments, such as restaurants and work. You may also notice that you are having trouble understanding what people are saying to you on the phone or when watching TV. Whether you are having these issues or not, it is recommended to have an annual hearing test.
2. Talk to Your Doctor
When you’re shopping for a hearing aid, you may want to consider starting with your doctor. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor or audiologist is the best place to start because they can help you figure out what kind of device would be right for you. They can give you a medical exam to determine whether there is any underlying health issue or other reason why your hearing might be declining, and they can refer you to an audiologist or other specialist for further testing or discussions.
If you decide to shop for a hearing aid in a retail store, read the fine print and look for any warning signs. For example, Powers says to look out for any overly exaggerated claims, such as promises of restoring your hearing to what it was before you developed a hearing loss or that you’ll be able to hear conversations 100 yards away.
Another thing to watch out for is hidden fees and charges. If you buy a pair of hearing aids from your local department store, for instance, you’ll probably be charged extra for things like hearing aid fittings, insurance, and other services that are normally included with a professional audiologist visit. These extras add up over time, so make sure to do the math before you purchase.
You also need to think about how comfortable you’ll feel wearing the device. Different hearing aids will fit and feel differently, so you’ll want to try a few different kinds before making a decision. You can do this at a store or your audiologist’s office to see what feels best.
Once you have a good idea of the type and severity of your hearing loss, you can start looking for devices online that meet your needs. Just make sure you clearly understand trial periods and return policies before investing in any device. You also want to ensure that any retailer you shop with is a certified hearing healthcare professional or an audiologist. If you’re unsure, check with your state’s attorney general or consumer protection agency, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.
3. Seek a Referral
When you have a doctor’s referral, it can make the process much smoother. It’s a written order from your primary care doctor that allows you to see a specialist or receive certain medical services. Many health insurance plans require patient referrals before you can receive medical treatment from any provider other than your primary care doctor.
If your doctor recommends that you get a hearing aid, ask them to provide you with a list of reputable audiologists in the area. A good audiologist will be able to help you choose the right hearing aid, fit it to your ears, and adjust it appropriately. They can also advise you on other options for treating your hearing loss, such as surgery or a specialized hearing device.
Your doctor may be able to refer you to a specialist in your medical insurance plan, such as an ophthalmologist or oncologist, who can perform a more thorough exam or offer a different course of treatment. Having a referral from your doctor can save you time and money because you won’t have to go through the process of finding an in-network provider or running afoul of the insurance referral rules.
You can also ask your doctors for a referral to an otolaryngologist, neurosurgeon, cardiologist, or other specialists. You can also get a referral from a friend, colleague, or family member. If they have had a positive experience with someone, they are likely to recommend them. Getting a referral from someone you know can help you build trust in your relationship and increase the likelihood that you’ll receive the service you need.
- Make Your Decision
Choosing the right hearing aid is a big decision, and it’s important to make sure that the one you choose is a good fit for your lifestyle. For example, some people may prefer a rechargeable behind-the-ear style, meaning they never have to worry about changing batteries or hearing the “low battery” signal.
Others might want a small device that will be less noticeable to other people. Regardless of your specific needs, your audiologist should help you find the best fit for your lifestyle.
When it comes to finding the best hearing aid, you need to trust a company that has repeatedly proven itself. Miracle-Ear has a reputation for premium service, the latest technology, and discreet hearing aids. Call today to get started.