June 8, 2023
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Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Hearing Aid

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Hearing Aid

*This article is part 2 in a 2-Part Series on Hearing Aid Costs.

A hearing aid can be a considerable investment in your quality of life. Making a choice on price alone is not ideal, as like many current technologies, hearing aids are made to be personalised, to suit your individual needs. This article that will help you make an informed decision.

For best results, selection of your next hearing aid will be based on your communication needs, hearing test, budget and eligibilities for assistance. The more socially active you are – especially in background noise – the more likely higher technology will assist. On the other hand, you may only require an assistive device for the television or phone. There is an increasing range of wireless hearing aids. These allow direct transmission of the audio signal of your phone, TV, computer etc into your hearing aids. The sound is not just amplified, it is tuned to your hearing levels, plus – overcomes any loss of important details over distance. These articles will give you an idea of which level of technology is most appropriate for you: [hyperlink] “Personalizing Hearing Technology: What’s Relevant to Me, What’s Not?”; “Hearing Aid Prices – Why do Hearing Aids Cost so Much”

Clinically, it is important that the proposed devices are set and verified via a prescription, based on your hearing levels. The personal effectiveness of the device is shown in a before-and after recording of your real-life functioning. This is called the ‘COSI’.

Unlike glasses for impaired vision, hearing aids will not necessarily ‘cure’ your hearing loss, so a long-term rehabilitation focus is needed – by your hearing aid provider, and yourself. Better communication can requires not just technology, but habit changes for you and those you interact with e.g. it is important to maintain ‘line of sight’ with the other person, and to be skilled in clarifying the message when needed. See [hyperlink] “Hearing Loss & Communication at Home”

Eligibility of cost benefits or rebates for Hearing Aids in Australia

A checklist of “breaks” for the initial costs of this ongoing process includes – eligibility for the Commonwealth Hearing Services program, private health rebates, periodic offers and discounts. Costs can vary e.g. entry level devices under the Commonwealth are free of change, while higher technology requires a “top up” fee. In general, aids which deal best with speech in noise and have the greatest number of features are more costly than those used for a quieter lifestyle. Batteries and maintenance costs are generally less under the Government program. Private health rebates may apply regardless of whether you are a Government or Private patient.

Whatever the cost, and no matter how independent you are – reviewing and retuning hearing technology to match changes in your lifestyle, brain and needs will be of ongoing importance.

*This article is part 2 in a 2-Part Series on Hearing Aid Costs.

Read the first part below.

Hearing Aid Prices – Why do Hearing Aids cost so much?

Read more articles at www.artofhearing.com

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