What questions should you ask before buying a hearing aid?
A hearing aid works by magnifying sound vibrations entering the ear, which are then detected by any surviving hair cells (hearing loss results from the damaging of these cells). The greater the damage to the hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification required to restore the ability to hear to a good standard. Of course, if the damage is too substantial hearing aids are ineffective.
If you are one of these people, on your trip to the physician you should remember a few key questions to ask during the diagnosis:
1. Perhaps the first thing to consider is how much you are willing to pay for a hearing aid. Do the benefits of newer technologies outweigh the higher costs? In the UK, aids can be obtained from the NHS that are of a reasonable standard for free, however the technology is usually between two and three years behind what is available in the private sector. For the smallest, unobtrusive, and cleverly designed so it is almost impossible to tell whether a person is using one or not, a better range will be available from private providers at an added cost.
2. Useful features vary from case to case so it is also important to ask which design is best for you.
3. Moreover, how long is the warranty of the hearing aid? Can it be extended? Does it cover future maintenance and repairs?
4. Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids (and what fees are non-refundable if they are returned after the trial period)?
5. Are there any medical or surgical considerations or corrections for your hearing loss?
Because the requirements of each individual differ so drastically, it is worth taking extra time going through these questions with the physician to maximise the benefits gained from using a hearing aid.
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