Hi, I’m Amy White, the audiologist at Elk Grove Hearing Care, and today I’m here to talk to you about how to choose a provider. So maybe you know you’ve had some trouble hearing. Maybe you’ve actually even gotten you hearing tested already and you know you need some help.
What do you do next?
There are so many options for deciding where to get hearing aids. Who you choose to help you, and how do you know what to do?
Hopefully today I can help answer some of those questions. The first thing to consider is what is most important to you. Are you the type of person for whom cost, getting a deal and saving money is most important? If those types of things are most important, perhaps the best place to look would be online or at stores such as Costco where you can get really great prices on hearing aids. The thing to know about that is you aren’t getting anything like what you might get form an audiologist at an independent practice. Most places such as Costco offer great deals, seemingly, on hearing aids, but in reality, those hearing aids are older technology and generally speaking, you don’t get the kind of one-on-one care and significant service that you may need in order to get the best benefit from the devices.
The most important thing to know about hearing aids is it’s not really about the device. The hearing aid is just a tool, and that tool has to be programmed, set and understood very well by the person who’s fitting them. So even if you got the best hearing aid in the world that cost the most money, if the person fitting the hearing aid isn’t clear with how to fit that device, doesn’t understand what your needs are and doesn’t know what all the options are with different technology, then the hearing aids you spent money on won’t really do much for you. So even if you got a great deal on the price, if it ends up in the drawer, it wasn’t a deal at all.
Here, what’s most important to us is to maximize your hearing. What that means is we take the time to make sure that you’re getting the biggest benefit to maximize the hearing you have left. Everyone’s needs are very unique, so it takes a lot of time and effort to figure out what works best for you. When you decide to finally make that purchase and get a hearing aid it’s so important to know that the place you are going to, you’ll want to return to.
The reason for that in most cases is hearing aids are bundled. What that means is the price of the hearing aids includes all your service. Hearing aids are expected to last you an average of four to six years, so you are paying your provider to take care of the hearing aid for the life of the device. Therefore, you want to be certain that is a place you want to go back to. Is it easy to get to? Can they see you in a timely manner? Do you like the office? Do you like the provider? Is it someone that you trust and that you feel like is really doing the best job for you?
All hearing aids, no matter where you purchase them, come with a trial period. In the state of California, that trial period is mandated by law to be 45 days. That 45-day trial period ensures that if you aren’t doing well with the hearing aids, they aren’t comfortable, or you find you aren’t wearing them or just don’t like them, you can return them for a full refund. That is the law. So, even if no one informs you of that when you get your new hearing aids, know that is your right.
It’s important to use the 45 days and think of it as a interview period. I always tell my patient that 45 days is good for me to make sure we are using the right device, that it’s performing as well as I expected and that our paitnets like us and want to keep coming back. So that 45-day trial is really used as an interview period for both of us to make sure that we’re a good fit. I highly suggest that’s the way you think about that trial period, and if you have any reservations whatsoever, return those devices during the trial period and try a different provider if you have any questions.
If you want to come see us to take the next step, talk about hearing aids and see if we are a good fit for you, give us a call at (916) 627-1494.