Any hearing aid advertisement that sounds too good to be true probably is. Apply good judgment when evaluating advertisements for hearing aids, and look for the following misleading and confusing claims:
"Thousands of dollars off"
"Buy one get one free"
"People wanted for a hearing aid study"
"Restore hearing to normal"
Before you buy:
-Have a checkup with your doctor so he/she can rule out correctable causes of hearing loss and have your hearing tested by an audiologist. It is imperative that your problem is diagnosed properly before you by a hearing aid. Minnesota state law also requires that you have a written prescription or recommendation from a physician or audiologist before the hearing aid provider can sell you a hearing aid.
There are three kinds of hearing health care professionals whose main distinction in their level of education:
-Otolaryngologists (ENTs) are physicians who have specialized residency and internship training in the medical conditions of the ear. Otolaryngologists usually do not fit hearing aids and will usually have an audiologist fit the hearing aid.
- Audiologists have a master's or doctoral degree in audiology with a 9-month postgraduate fellowship in measuring and treating hearing loss.
-Hearing aid specialists usually have to pass an exam and have at least 2 years of experience.
Choosing a hearing aid dispenser
-Ask to see your seller's permit and check that the hearing aid provider is licensed with the state.
-Ask your physician, family or friends for a recommendation on a hearing aid provider. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau for information about hearing aid providers
-Beware of hearing aid providers that focus on selling the products more than getting the right hearing aid for you. Hear aid providers should focus on being a health care provider instead of being a salesperson.
-Your hearing aid provider should run tests and fit your hearing aid for you. For these reasons, beware of ordering hearing aids online or through the mail.
-When buying a hearing aid, be sure to insist upon a contract with your hearing aid provider. Everything you have been verbally promised as far as service, repair policies, warranty, and payment terms should be included in this contract.
-Ask about a trial period. A hearing aid should come with an adaptation period. Have the seller put it in writing the cost of a trial and whether this amount is credited toward the final cost of the hearing aid.