Getting a proper evaluation from a qualified doctor will ensure that you find the best hearing aid to improve your quality of life and spend your budget wisely.
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Dr. George Hicks, Otology & Neurotology, Midwest Ear Institute: “When the hearing aid is fitted properly, it can actually be programmed — computers are involved in almost all fittings these days. The cost will vary [because of] the particular specifics that are necessary to help that person’s hearing loss.
"Other things that can increase the cost are options that are available. Hearing aids nowadays can be Bluetooth compatible. You can hook iPods up to your hearing aids. It’s like buying a car, and every time you choose a particular option, whether it’s air conditioning or navigator systems, it drives up the cost. It is often an out-of-pocket expense.
"If you are fitted with hearing aids in a quiet room, basically, they all sound good. The key is what happens when you walk out the door, and you need time to find that out. Another reason why [not to get] hearing aids through catalogs or over the Internet: You’re not really customizing that hearing aid to fit your hearing loss. And then another thing that’s important is [having] the proper service — people who are available to help if something goes wrong with one or both hearing aids.”
Angie’s List Tips on Hearing Aids:
• New types are programmed by computer
• Various options can affect cost
• Usually an out-of-pocket expense
• Needs adjustment/trial period
• Have a doctor evaluate your hearing
• Catalog/Internet purchase can be risky
• Check Angie’s List for local reviews on ear, nose, and throat doctors