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10 Things You Need Before Buying Hearing Aids

Sep 29, 2021 10 Things You Need Before Buying Hearing Aids

You suspect that your hearing acuity isn’t what it was in the past. There’s a chance you may need a hearing aid for one or both ears. Before you make the leap, it’s important to take care of a few things first. Take care of these ten and there will be no doubt of what to do next.

You suspect that your hearing acuity isn’t what it was in the past. There’s a chance you may need a hearing aid for one or both ears. Before you make the leap, it’s important to take care of a few things first. Take care of these ten and there will be no doubt of what to do next. 

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Will your health insurance plan include some sort of rider that covers the cost of hearing tests and possibly helps with the expense of purchasing hearing aids? The only way to know for sure is to take a look at the scope of your coverage. Even then, it never hurts to talk with a representative, especially if the hearing loss is associated with a recent covered health event, like an accident. 


It is unusual for most group and private health insurance plans to cover these types of expenses when the hearing loss is more of a gradual change in acuity rather than the result of a covered event. Even so, there are policies that do include hearing riders. By knowing if that’s true for you, it will be easier to plan in terms of finding a specialist who’s in the insurance provider’s network.


If you are on Medicare, the fact is that you’re not likely to have any coverage for hearing loss. Some supplemental plans do include benefits related to hearing, so turn your attention to them. If you have a supplemental plan that covers dental and vision, look at the details; there’s a chance it may cover hearing as well.


Don’t allow a lack of insurance for hearing aids to slow you down. There are other ways to manage the cost, as you will soon learn. 


No Coverage? Come Up With a Plan to Manage the Cost

Assume the worst case scenario happens; you have no type of insurance protection that will help with the cost of being tested and purchasing hearing aids. While that may seem like a setback, there are ways to cover the expense and get what you need. Here are a couple of ways to tackle that cost. 


One has to do with financing plans offered through hearing specialists. While some services offer their own in-house financing options, it’s more likely that they have agreements with third parties to cover the financing. It never hurts to look into something that might require a downpayment on your part and then allow you to pay the remaining balance using a series of installment payments. 


Another option for hearing aid financing is medical loans and medical revolving credit accounts. You would apply directly for these rather than going through a medical professional. There are providers who will issue you up to a certain limit that can be used for just about any type of medical need. The good thing here is that if you have one of these cards, it’s easy to find a specialist who is in the network and place the balance on your account. You then pay the card issuer over time.


Schedule a Hearing Test

Now that you can rest easy about how to cover the costs, do schedule a hearing test. Opting for a professional who is in the network of your insurance coverage or the independent financing you’re going to use is a good idea. It saves time and also allows you to proceed without any delays. 


That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to find out a little about the service and specialist who will perform the test. Put the Internet to good use and check out ratings and reviews left by past patients. That will help narrow the range and ensure you end up with one that you can trust. 


Keep in mind that the test may reveal that your hearing loss is not a permanent condition. For example, it may turn out that you have a buildup of earwax that’s causing the issue. Correct the issue and your hearing will return to normal. If you do have permanent hearing loss, the examination will provide insight into how severe the loss happens to be. That’s information you will need when it’s time to select a hearing aid.

Consider Talking With a Counselor

Here’s one piece of advice that sometimes gets left out of the mix. Should it become apparent that your hearing loss is permanent, it may be something of an emotional blow. If so, don’t feel as if you’re in the minority. Many people who have to come to grips with the fact that their hearing is fading feel more than a little shock and experience some degree of depression. That’s where talking with a counselor will come in handy. 


At this juncture, someone who can help you process what’s happening and begin to figure out how to deal with the loss is a good thing. You may want to think about some counseling before and after being fitted for hearing aids. Those sessions could make it a little easier to get past this change and prepare to enjoy what comes next.


Be Open to Different Hearing Aid Designs

There has never been a time when patients had more choices for hearing aid designs. The products on the market today offer more in the ability to adjust hearing levels, smaller casings that make it easier to tuck them behind or in the ear so they are barely noticeable, and even improvements that make it easier to get more years of use from the aids. 


Take advantage of the fact there are so many designs to consider. Doing so will make it all the easier to find one that’s so comfortable that you sometimes forget that it’s in. You’ll also find that opting for certain features, including one that comes with easy battery replacement or rechargeability, makes maintaining the aid all the simpler as well as more practical.

Develop Reasonable Expectations for Performance

There are those who think that hearing aids magically make everything all better. To some degree, that’s true. If you’ve had a hearing loss that’s significant enough to interfere with daily activities, starting to wear an aid will make things easier. What it can not do is restore the same sense of hearing ability that you enjoyed in years past.


The situation is much like a person who has to begin wearing corrective lenses. They do compensate for the loss of natural vision, but things are never quite the same again. There’s no doubt the right hearing aid will make things better, but be realistic of what to expect from their function. A higher quality aid will be great, but it will never quite be like what you enjoyed before the hearing problem developed. If you understand that up front, it will be a lot easier to enjoy how much of an improvement the hearing aid makes.


Prepare by Learning How to Care For Your Hearing Aids

Choosing the design matters a lot, but knowing how to clean hearing aids also matters. It’s  important to know what sort of agents to use and how often to clean the aids so that performance remains high. A good cleaning also helps to maintain proper ear health; ensuring that infection or other complication are minimized. 


The good news is that learning how to clean and otherwise care for your hearing aids won’t be difficult. Along with tips that you receive from the specialist, the documents that come with the hearing aid will include an instruction manual. Look for the section related to care and maintenance and go over it carefully. 


Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait to buy the aids before learning how to care for them. Many manufacturers make those manuals available online. This means you can read up on the care and upkeep of the make and model of hearing aids that you’re thinking of buying. If the model turns out to be easy to maintain, then it’s a good choice in one more way.

Train Yourself How to Use All the Features Properly

There may be certain features that attract your attention. Maybe the aid you’re leaning toward is easy to adjust in terms of volume, or the casing can easily be opened to insert a fresh battery. That’s great, but what about the other features that you don’t think will be needed any time soon? You need to learn how to make the most of those as well. 


Why does it matter since you only plan on using a few of the features? It could be that you run into a situation where one of those other features would come in handy. Rather than trying to muddle through, you will already know how to make the most of what the aid offers. Think of how that can make an awkward situation easier to navigate. 

Remember that Hearing Tests Will Be Part of Life Now

Hearing loss is a medical condition. It’s not a stretch to refer to it as a chronic condition that needs to be monitored. In other words, the hearing test that confirmed the loss is only the beginning. It will now be necessary to plan on having tests done at least annually, much like the way you have an annual checkup with your doctor. 


The goal is to determine if additional hearing loss has taken place. It will also provide the opportunity to determine if your current hearing aid is still performing at optimal levels. See it as one way to identify a change early on and be able to meet it with less difficulty.

Select an Audiologist That Can Manage Repairs If Needed

Rest assured that even the best hearing aids need some attention from time to time. As you compare different options, ensure that the group you purchase from has the capability to perform in-house repairs for work that may be needed. Not all repairs can be done on-site and may need to be sent to the manufacturer at times, but it’s better if you can keep it local. 


As with any service, find out what others think about the quality of the hearing aid repairs offered by your chosen audiology group. If the reviews indicate a consistent pattern of providing hearing aid repair that meets the expectations of past patients, then buy the aid and plan on setting up a service plan for routine maintenance and repair. While you may not need it often, it’s nice to know everything is in order when there is an issue that requires resolution. 


If it turns out that you will need a hearing aid or possibly two, doing some legwork on the front end will make it easier to choose wisely. With so many options on the market today, lean heavily on the advice provided by hearing specialists and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Approaching this new need in your life in much the same way you’ve handled other issues in the past will improve the odds for a positive outcome and make adjusting to the new order of things a lot easier.

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