Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shopping for Hearing Aids

When I decided I wanted a new pair of hearing aids this year I surprised my audiologist by knowing a bit about the various brands and features I had to choose from. In making my decision I had researched online before going for my hearing exam. I wanted to know that not only would the aids help amplify my hearing but that they would have useful and neat features for me, like Bluetooth.


I was a bit surprised myself when the model he recommended for me was actually my own personal favorite. I already knew they would have Bluetooth and other neat features I wanted. So for me - hearing aid "shopping" was painless and fun.

For many people it can also be scary. Someone may not even know they have a hearing loss until the audiologist tells them so. They may have never considered that they would ever need to know about various types of hearing aids, and they may not have a basic understanding of the underlying technology. In many cases I hope that audiologists would take it slow and educate the person, but even with consideration given to them people can feel rushed and hurried and very unsure.

Deafness and Hearing Aids has an article about buying hearing aids. I agree with many of their points. Generally people shopping for large appliances like televisions or dryers, will do research on them, but I don't know how many people look into hearing aids. Even though my audiologist recommended the aids I liked already, I did have to ask about the Streamer accessory and getting them in different colors. Knowledge is power.

The link has a lot of interesting ideas for how hearing aids could be sold. As a medical device it would be difficult to showcase them like televisions (though my audiologist's office does have a neat display of different models). The idea of looking at the software for each aid - a nice indicator of what's controllable and what settings you have options for. And being able to "shop" for aids puts people in more control, and feeling more comfortable about their loss.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post! What kind of hearing aid did you get? I am thinking of getting a new hearing aid. Bluetooth, huh? Interesting.

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  2. I sat in the audiologist's office yesterday trying to decide between the two cheapest hearing aids--$1,300 or $1,800. No bells, no frills, just a t-coil built in. And this was with a 60% discount from our insurance company. Ouch.

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  3. Be careful when you buy from Audiologist, they over charge you for new hearing aids. I got mine online brand new Oticon 380P for $580 each. The Audiologist was going to charge me $1,700 each! This is an analog hearing aid which has been around 40 years! You can buy digital online, too. What you can do is find out what brand and model fits you then shop online or have the audiologist match the price.

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  4. hello thanks for this information about AIDS is really amazing and professional

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  5. I find it terrible that hearing aids cost as much as they do. Older technology and still outragious. Hearing loss will become a big deal because the use of Ipods and ear buds will cause lots of hearing dammage. With the increase the cost should go down, but greed rules here in the USA.

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  6. That is such an adorable photo of the bunny!

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