After struggling with hearing loss, you make the decision to purchase hearing aids. Seeking support for your hearing difficulties will drastically improve your quality of life by allowing you to better hear sounds, conversations, and questions from family and friends.
While exciting, this process is new to you and as a result it can be overwhelming. Keeping the following in mind when preparing to purchase your hearing devices will assist you in getting the support you need and deserve.
1. They are mean to assist in, not restore, hearing
Hearing aids work by receiving sound through a microphone which is then amplified and sent through a speaker to the user’s ear. They play an integral role in allowing one to improve their ability to hear and they have significantly improved with the advance of technology, but expecting them to restore your natural ability to hear is not realistic. For instance, you may have difficulties hearing in a noisy room as the different sounds may interfere with the microphone’s ability to pick up the desired sound.
Also, your ability to hear will obviously still be impaired if the devices are removed. Being mindful of these facts will save you surprise and disappointment as you progress through the process.
2. All people have different experiences
Just because someone you know had a horrible experience with hearing devices does not mean you will to. Similarly, someone may have a very positive experience and again this does not equal success for you either. There are many factors that will determine whether hearing aids will be successful, such as the degree of hearing loss, the shape of someone’s ears to accommodate the devices, and the situations they will be used in.
Despite what you have heard from other users, being positive and having an open mind will benefit you through the process as you do not know whether they will be successful in improving your ability to hear until you try them.
3. Prices and quality vary
Like any purchase you make in life, when it comes to hearing aids, you get what you pay for. There are three general types of hearing aids: entry, mid-range, and advanced. Prices in Canada range anywhere from $400 for the lower-end devices up to as high as $3500 for the better quality devices. Although often easier said than done, try not to get too hung up on price. For example, a lower-priced device may fit you better and prove to better address your needs when compared to more expensive devices.
While hearing tests are covered if ordered by a physician, they are usually not covered if requested by third parties. The devices themselves are usually not fully covered but payment plans are typically offered by the audiology companies and you may be partially covered if you have employment benefits. Financial assistance programs are usually available for you to apply to as well and these vary by province.
4. Devices are matched to lifestyle
Everyone has a different lifestyle and as a result hearing aids are not universal. They are made differently with the ultimate goal of meeting each user’s individual needs. As a result, the audiologist usually asks about your lifestyle. For example, do you enjoy watching movies? Listening to music? Go out with friends or family? Discussing your lifestyle and priorities with the audiologist at your initial appointment will assist in matching your hearing devices to your needs.
Pay close attention to how your devices are working when you begin to wear them. Do they work especially in the situations that are important to you? If not, make another appointment with the audiologist as soon as possible. Sometimes the devices thought to best suited to you are ineffective and you need a change.