1. Health

Before You Buy

Questions to Ask

By

Updated March 17, 2004

Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your audiologist these important questions:
  • Are there any medical or surgical considerations or corrections for my hearing loss?
  • Which design is best for my hearing loss?
  • What is the total cost of the hearing aid?
  • Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids? What fees are nonrefundable if they are returned after the trial period?
  • How long is the warranty? Can it be extended?
  • Does the warranty cover future maintenance and repairs?
  • Can the audiologist make adjustments and provide servicing and minor repairs? Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed?
  • What instruction does the audiologist provide?
  • Can assistive devices such as a telecoil be used with the hearing aids?

What Problems Might I Experience While Adjusting to My Hearing Aids?

  • Become familiar with your hearing aid. Your audiologist will teach you to use and care for your hearing aids. Also, be sure to practice putting in and taking out the aids, adjusting volume control, cleaning, identifying right and left aids, and replacing the batteries with the audiologist present.
  • The hearing aids may be uncomfortable. Ask the audiologist how long you should wear your hearing aids during the adjustment period. Also, ask how to test them in situations where you have problems hearing, and how to adjust the volume and/or program for sounds that are too loud or too soft.
  • Your own voice may sound too loud. This is called the occlusion effect and is very common for new hearing aid users. Your audiologist may or may not be able to correct this problem; however, most people get used to it over time.
  • Your hearing aid may "whistle." When this happens, you are experiencing feedback, which is caused by the fit of the hearing aid or by the buildup of earwax or fluid. See your audiologist for adjustments.
  • You may hear background noise. Keep in mind that a hearing aid does not completely separate the sounds you want to hear from the ones you do not want to hear, but there may also be a problem with the hearing aid. Discuss this with your audiologist.

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