Choosing the Right Hearing Aid

How do you know which hearing aid is the BEST for you? What should you consider when choosing hearing aids?

1. Explore your Options: There are many hearing aid manufacturers, each with different benefits and features. Working with a professional who offers several brands ensures that you have access to the best option for you.

2. See a reputable Audiologist: In a North Carolina practice you may be seeing an Audiologist or a Hearing Aid Specialist. To practice as an Audiologist in North Carolina you must be licensed in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and have a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Audiology. Hearing aid specialists are licensed by the North Carolina State Hearing Aid Dealers & Fitters Board.

3. Understand what technology will work best for you: It is vital to your hearing success that you and your audiologist select the technology which will best match the listening situations you find yourself in on a day-to-day basis.

4. Ask about a trial period: Although not required by law in North Carolina, most practices offer a trial or adaption period and the ability to return the hearing aid within that time frame for a partial refund of your money. The trial period is a set amount of time for you to wear the hearing aid home, become accustomed to hearing once again and to experience how well the hearing aid is meeting your listening needs. Remember,  it may take a while to get used to hearing and to wearing hearing aids. It may also take a few visits to your audiologist for “fine tuning” before you are hearing the best you can.

5. Beware of misleading claims: Hearing aids can not restore your hearing to “normal” nor eliminate background noise. Beware of advertisements or claims to the contrary. The function of a hearing aid is to make all sounds in your environment easier to hear, and it is your brain which process the sounds it hears and makes sense of these sounds.

6. Plan for the Expense: The cost of hearing aids will vary based on the level of technology, from several hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids although some private insurance policies will cover part or all of the cost. Have your provider or you yourself check with your insurance company to inquire if you have hearing aid benefits and what those benefits are. Hearing aids are an approved/eligible expense on the long form of your taxes under medical expenses and do qualify as a purchase through your Health Savings Account.

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