In part two of our series on your questions about hearing aids, we’re seeking to dispel some of the confusion and miscommunication about them. Let’s continue our conversation with ENT Memphis audiologist, Dr. Chris Hylander, to learn more about choosing hearing aids, where to purchase them, and how you can take them for a test drive.
How Do I Choose Which Hearing Aids are Best for Me?
No two (or ten) hearing aids are alike so it’s time to narrow down your choices. One of our hearing care professionals will guide you through the options and help you understand the pros and cons of the various brands, styles, and technical features of hearing aids.
At ENT Memphis we consider your lifestyle, your hearing loss, and your goals for using hearing aids to recommend options to fit your unique listening needs. We work with major manufacturers and offer hearing aids of all types and styles from custom fit to small behind-the-ear devices to get you the best result for the most reasonable cost.
Can I “Test Drive” Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are a significant purchase. You always test drive a car before buying it, right?
Spending about ten minutes wearing hearing aids may amaze you when you experience what you’ve been missing and how much hearing aids can help you. We have trial devices that you can take home for one to two weeks through our Flex-Trial program to help you hear the difference for yourself.
Buying Hearing Aids: ENT Memphis vs. “Big Box Store?”
Hearing aids are typically sold either “bundled” or “unbundled.” What’s the difference?
Bundled service programs include some or all of your follow-up care with the cost of your hearing aids.
Unbundled hearing aids purchased online or in stores typically include very limited aftercare, which means you will need to pay for follow-up services. While unbundled costs are much cheaper upfront they often result in poorer outcomes and what feels like frivolous charges during every visit.
Patients with unbundled service plans tend to come back less often for follow-up care and therefore are generally less satisfied with their purchase. Hearing-aid users with less than optimal results are typically not wearing the aids consistently. If you are not compliant with follow-up care and use you’re probably wasting your money. Think of getting hearing aids as an investment in yourself, your good health, and your life.
At ENT Memphis, we use a bundled service plan to ensure that you receive proper follow-up care and get the most out of your hearing aids. This includes “clean and check” appointments to maintain hearing aid performance as well as hearing testing, prescription updates, and hearing aid adjustments.
Do Hearing Aids Come with a Warranty?
Hearing aids are small, wearable, electronic devices like smartwatches and cell phones. Because they are worn on your ear they are exposed to sweat, humidity, and earwax for 12 hours or more a day.
Manufacturers typically include one to three years of warranty for defects with the purchase of new devices. An additional one-year warranty is often included on some models for the receiver that is placed in the ear just in case life happens. Manufacturers often also include a “Loss and Damage” policy that allows for the replacement of a damaged or lost device for a small deductible. If we cannot repair your hearing aid in the office, we will contact the manufacturer and expedite the repairs or replacement.
Despite all of the advances in hearing aid development proper maintenance and cleaning are still necessary to keep your devices working at their best. With good maintenance and care hearing aids can last up to five years.
How Long Do Hearing Aid Batteries Last?
The typical button cell/zinc-air battery will last 5-7 days before the power begins to drop off and is no longer able to run the hearing aid. New rechargeable hearing aids have built-in lithium-ion batteries designed that will run up to 24 hours on one charge, and 16 hours when paired through Bluetooth with a smartphone. These batteries are guaranteed by the manufacturers to last at least three years and often last much longer.
ENT Memphis: Choosing the Best Hearing Aid for the Best Results
Our experienced team can determine which hearing aids can help improve your quality of life. We won’t just sell you hearing aids, we will work with you to maintain them and get you the optimal result over their lifespan. Schedule an appointment to have your hearing evaluated today.