Five things to know when shopping for hearing aids

Shopping for hearing aids can be an overwhelming experience. Just finding out you have hearing loss and need a hearing aid can put you in a tailspin. Plus, there are so many hearing aids to choose from. How do you know what’s right for you? Here’s a few things to think about when deciding both where to purchase your hearing aids and what hearing aids may be right for you.

1. Get a comprehensive hearing test

There are many components to a comprehensive hearing test. It’s not just 30 minutes in a soundproof booth with you pressing a button when you hear a sound. The more comprehensive the hearing test, the better the hearing instrument specialist or audiologist can assist with your hearing aid selection and the more precisely your hearing aid can be programmed to meet your needs.

When you or friends and family already know there’s evidence of hearing loss, that comprehensive hearing test is really important. If your initial hearing test appointment is less than an hour, you likely aren’t getting the depth of testing required to deliver best hearing with your aids.

2. Not all hearing aids are created equal

Every hearing aid has its own unique features and benefits. Keep in mind, the smaller the hearing aid, the fewer the features. As hearing aids get smaller, there’s less space for the technology required for complex hearing loss. If you want to reduce certain background noises or boost the sound frequencies you struggle to hear, you may not be able to do that with all tiny hearing aids.

Think about your dexterity as well. Changing tiny batteries, or even putting your hearing aids in or on, may be a challenge if you have fine-motor difficulties. Then there’s matching your hearing aid to your lifestyle. Do you want it to connect to your cellphone or to your television so you can listen to TV at your personal volume without affecting others?

And there’s no need to let your vanity suffer just because ‘invisible’ hearing aids may not be right for you. There are many hearing aid choices that are hidden behind or on top of your ear.

3. Know who you’re buying from

In Ontario, the national hearing aid clinic chains are mostly owned by hearing aid manufacturers. They only sell their own products. If you want more choice while shopping for hearing aids, and finding the right aids for you, you may want to consider booking an appointment at an independent or family-owned clinic. Family-owned hearing aid clinics are generally independent and can offer more than one manufacturer’s products as well as delivering very personalized service.

4. Review the service plans for after-purchase care

After shopping for hearing aids and deciding on your purchase, you need to care for them and for yourself. It can get expensive if your hearing aid clinic doesn’t offer you a lifetime or comprehensive service plan with regularly scheduled appointments to ensure you’re hearing well after your purchase. In Ontario, hearing aid clinics generally use the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario (AHIP) fee guidelines for individual after-purchase services like hearing instrument reprogramming, wax removal, hearing aid cleaning or a hearing reassessment.

You want your hearing aids to deliver the best possible hearing which can take reprogramming and sometimes retesting. Even adapting to your hearing aids can go more smoothly with the support of your hearing aid clinic.

Make sure you’re fully informed on what you’ll have to pay for after purchase before you commit to your purchase.

5. Get financial support if you qualify

In Ontario, the Ministry of Health through their Assistive Devices Program may help cover some of the cost for your hearing aids. Choose a clinic where the staff is not only willing but happy to help you with the paperwork for this financial support.

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident or are a Veteran of the Canadian Forces, your hearing aid clinic should be knowledgeable of processes and assessments as well as demonstrate a willingness to advocate for you.

Hear Well Be Well is a family-owned hearing aid clinic with over 30-years experience and 13 locations in Ontario offering the most up-to-date technologies to get you hearing your best. Contact us to book your hearing assessment.

These aren’t your grandma’s hearing aids!

One of the most common misconceptions about hearing aids today is that they are large and unsightly objects sitting on our ears. People often associate hearing aids with ones their grandparents once wore, leading them to think hearing aids are only for when you get old. This assumption tends to delay acknowledging hearing health earlier. The advancement of hearing aid technology has come a long way.

There have been many advancements in hearing aid technology over the years. A larger variety of styles and models are available. The instruments themselves are smaller/slimmer (and in some styles, invisible), more comfortable to wear, and some offer a rechargeable option. The technology is more powerful than ever, with many discreet styles. You would be pleasantly surprised by the advancement hearing aids have reached with the level of technology. The client’s lifestyle also plays an essential role in the recommendation process, resulting in the hearing aids being a better fit and a more personalized listening experience.

Hearing aids on the market today provide many advanced programs, such as monitoring body and brain health, preventing feedback noise, making listening in noisy environments smoother and more enjoyable, streaming stereo sound from TVs and radios directly into the hearing aid, talking on the phone hands-free, and much more!

The advancement of hearing aid technology today:

1. Durability

Hearing aids come with water, wax ,and moisture repellent, making them wearable for many different lifestyles and reduced repairs.

2. Invisible options

Hearing aids continue to advance by becoming smaller and more powerful. Many styles, including wireless options, rest comfortably inside your ear canal, where they are virtually invisible to others.

Beltone Apollo Charger

3. Rechargeability

Rechargeable hearing solutions are powered by a lithium-ion battery.

4. Sound comfortability

A modern advanced and sophisticated operating system senses the surroundings and automatically prioritizes speech protection. This makes hearing and understanding easier, no matter what the source of the noise.

5. Music options

Music and speech are quite different. Now all the richness and texture of music can be processed to provide the best sound quality and listening experience. Advanced hearing aid technology can distinguish between music and speech, causing them to automatically change settings to let you hear and enjoy music.

MyPal Micro

6. Wireless options

Today’s hearing aids have the option to connect to other technology, for example, to your smartphone or TV. No one needs to adjust the TV volume so others around you can enjoy the same show. Calls from your smartphone stream directly through your hearing aids, so your hearing aids also become a wireless headset for phone calls. Click here to browse some options.

7. Tinnitus relief

This technology allows you and your hearing aids to customize a soothing sound stimulus (masking sound) designed to help manage your tinnitus, so focusing on speech is much easier. Click here to learn more.

8. Automatic customizable environments

Imagine a hearing device that can sense whether you are in your favorite restaurant, a place of worship, or at work, and change the sound quality accordingly. Hearing aids that are compatible with smartphones have this feature, making every environment more suitable and comfortable.

9. Health tracking

Certain hearing aids have built-in sensors and artificial intelligence that can monitor physical activity (heart rate), cognitive well-being ,and fall detection (since the hearing aids are on the head, the detection of the fall is more accurate). Making you feel safer and more satisfied.

10. Find my hearing aid!

Can you imagine never losing your hearing aids again? Due to a built-in GPS, you will be able to locate your hearing aids inside or outside the house.

The advancement of hearing aid technology has come a long way over the years, offering endless options to make your hearing experience personalized. They are no longer just hearing aids, they are your health monitors, and earbuds for music/ phone calls. Could your grandparents’ hearing aids do all that?

For more detailed and personalized questions, please contact us at 1-888-457-3453 or Click here for a list of our 13 locations.