Evaluating Cost and Benefit in Hearing Aids
An audiologist can have one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs when working with patients with hearing loss. As an audiologist I have the unique pleasure of counseling patients on their options for improving their quality of life through the use of amplification. So, what’s the drawback? While patients do want to hear better, no one WANTS to wear a hearing aid. One of the major roadblocks to moving forward with hearing aids has always been cost. Let’s look at the cost of hearing aids and how to get the most out of a hearing aid purchase.
What are you buying?
It is important to know that when purchasing a hearing aid, you are not only putting your money and faith in a small electronic device that sits on your ear, but rather the ability of your audiologist to use that hearing aid to meet your goals for better hearing. You are not only purchasing a hearing aid but also auditory rehabilitative services and continued care that is crucial to the overall success of your hearing aid experience. This is why it is so important to have trust and confidence in your hearing health care provider and why I always recommend using an audiologist for hearing aid services.
Purchasing a pair of hearing aids based on the cheapest price or best advertised “deal” can often lead patients to frustrating outcomes. If you do not have good follow-up care and support from the provider who sold you hearing aids, you most likely did not get the most out of the money you spent.
Hearing is a brain process that requires some adaptation as we change the way we hear with hearing aids. During the first few months following a hearing aid fitting it is very common that changes may be made to the prescription that was set up by your audiologist. Once some of the fine-tuning is set and things are going well you should be following up with your audiologist at least twice a year to have the hearing aids checked and cleaned, these regular maintenance visits will ensure that the hearing aids are functioning to their full capacity and can extend the life of the hearing aids overall.
Asking questions at your initial hearing aid consultation is very important. The more you ask the better you can get a feel for your provider and can help gauge how future appointments and follow-up care will be handled. Good questions to ask include: how do follow-ups work, who will you see for follow-ups, what improvements do you want to see with the hearing aid use, and what can you expect in different everyday environments.
If you or a loved one have noticed increased difficulties in communication and are ready talk about options for improving your hearing, call ENT Audiology Center at (325) 437-3617 to set up your comprehensive hearing evaluation. ENT Audiology Center, “Helping You Hear Better So You Can Live Life Better.”