The Guide to Purchasing Hearing Aids
According to studies done at the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), the number of Americans with hearing loss has grown to more than 34 million—roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population.
The signs of hearing loss can emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, the common indications are often not being able to hear well in a crowded room or restaurant, having trouble hearing children and women, keeping the television turned up, and asking friends to repeat, etc.
Untreated hearing loss often leads to loneliness, irritability, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression and increased risk to personal safety. At the work place, hearing loss results in reduced job performance and earning power.
“The fear, embarrassment and stigma of hearing loss often prevents individuals from acknowledging the presence of hearing loss and seeking help,” notes Dr. Jagadish Swamy, President of Clear Sound Audiology. In his experience of over 20 years, Dr. Swamy continues to see a positive growth in the field of hearing health care.
According to Dr. Swamy, there is an explosion in new technology and locations where individuals can purchase hearing aids. To navigate through this myriad of information in technology and prices, he offers the following guide that will help patients make informed decision.
- The first step in the guide to buying hearing aids is to get your hearing tested by a professionally qualified and State and Board Certified Audiologist such as Dr. Swamy. Audiologists (Hearing Health Care Providers) are the primary health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children.
- No matter what the outcome of your hearing test, you should EXPECT that your Hearing Health Care Provider and their office staff treat you with dignity and respect and focus on your individual needs.
- Your audiologist should take the time to explain your test results and answer all the questions pertaining to your hearing loss. Sometimes, additional medical referral is required, and at other times, your audiologist will ask you to sign a medical waiver or to see a physician for medical clearance before fitting you with hearing aids.
- Your audiologist should be able to provide you with choices and options with regards to amplification, hearing aids and assistive listening devices. For his patients, Dr. Swamy also provides choices based on the patient’s lifestyle, needs and budget. “Sometimes an expensive hearing device might not be the most appropriate one for your needs,” he adds.
- Ask your audiologist about a FREE demonstration and trial period. Many state laws such as Florida require that the Hearing Health Care Providers give a minimum of 30 days for individuals to try hearing aids with a money back guarantee policy. Offices are allowed to charge a nominal re-stocking fee if the hearing aids are returned within the trial period. Dr. Swamy adds that patients must be well informed about this policy, especially with regards to when the 30 day period begins and ends.
- All transactions should be clearly stated as part of the Hearing Aid Purchase Order Agreement and a copy SHOULD be given to the patient along with the invoice.
- Dr. Swamy emphasizes that patients should be very cautious about advertisements, “which are too good to be true”. He also advises to be cautious about purchasing hearing aids over the internet. IT IS ILLEGAL IN MANY STATES TO DISPENSE HEARING AIDS ON THE INTERNET!
Please free to call Dr. Swamy at (352) 505-6766 to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY hearing consultation appointment today!