What are Hearing Aids?

As the governing body of audiologists in Colorado, the Colorado Academy of Audiology (CAA) wants to assure that all hearing aid fittings are successful and are performed in an ethical manner.

 

what-are-hearing-aidsWhat do hearing aids do for hearing loss?

Today’s hearing aids are much more advanced than in previous years. Due to improvements in micro-electronics, these “mini-computers” are now smaller, lighter and better at processing speech in background noise. Your hearing aids can be individually made for the shape of your ear and specific needs for your hearing loss. Your hearing aid will be programmed through a computer and can be adjusted based on your personal feedback on how things sound to you. Modern hearing aid technology allows audiologists to fit almost anyone with some type of hearing aid technology, regardless of what kind or the severity the hearing loss.

Should I get one or two hearing aids?

Research suggests that if you have hearing loss in both ears, you will likely hear and understand better with hearing aids in both ears. Ask your audiologist what is best hearing aid for you and your specific hearing loss.

What are the steps needed to obtain hearing aids?

  1. Schedule a complete hearing examination.
  2. If suggested by your audiologist, obtain medical clearance for hearing aids by visiting with a physician.
  3. Schedule an appointment for a hearing aid consultation to discuss rehabilitative options, expectations, hearing aid styles, technology, price and warranties.
  4. Schedule a Fitting and orientation appointment with your audiologist.
  5. Understand and go over your hearing aid(s) purchase agreement the day of your hearing aid fitting.
  6. Complete a trial period. By law, you are guaranteed a minimum of a 30-day trial period with purchase of hearing aids.
  7. Schedule regular follow-up visits with your audiologist.

Consumer Tips

  • Choose to see an audiologist – ask to see credentials!
  • Avoid aggressive sales tactics
  • Never buy hearing aids from a door-to-door salesperson, by mail order or the internet
  • Beware of “bait and switch” tactics
  • Get a second opinion if you are feeling unsure or pressured
  • Be confident in your decision by choosing a major manufacturer of hearing aids, typically not ones that send mailings directly to your home

What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?

  • What features would be most helpful to me based on my hearing loss?
  • Are there any accessories I should know about?
  • Will the hearing aid work with my cell phone or electronic devices?
  • What is the total cost of the hearing aid? Does it include programming and follow-up appointments?
  • How long is the warranty? What does it cover? Can I buy an extended warranty?
  • What do I do if the hearing aid breaks? Can the audiologist do minor repairs?
  • What kind of testing is done to make sure the hearing aids are working properly for me?
  • Is there a trial period for the hearing aids and how long is it? What portion is not refundable if I decide to return the hearing aids?
  • Are auditory training programs recommended in addition to use of hearing aids?

I know people who don’t like their hearing aids. Will I feel the same?

Everybody’s experience with hearing aids is different and depends on their hearing loss and the professional who fits them. By choosing an audiologist, you are ensuring the best possible programming for your hearing aids. That being said, hearing aids are not a “cure” for hearing loss and will not restore normal hearing. It is important to maintain realistic expectations and discuss these with your audiologist.

You can expect to hear much better in quiet situations and better in background noise. Keep in mind the better the hearing aid technology is, the better the hearing aid will perform if there is background noise. Hearing aids work differently depending on the technology used. The more a hearing aid is worn, the better the brain is able to understand new sounds.

 

Visit the Resources page for more information on the internet.