What to Expect On Your Fitting Appointment: Real Ear testing
Getting hearing aids are customized during multiple appointments. They're not just another electronic device like a smart phone. Real-ear measurements are the standard of care. Without it, you won't hear as well as you should. It's like throwing the years of research and technology you purchased out the window. Unfortunately, a poll published by Hearing Journal found that only 20% of audiologists consistently do real-ear measurements. It's hard to describe what real-ear testing involves, so I'm including this a video here.
A Few Things You Should Know Before Purchasing a Hearing Aid
By law, all hearing aids have a 45 day trial period with a full refund - not a credit. Don't feel guilty about returning an aid if it's not helping you enough for what you paid.
- Medicare does not cover hearing aids, but they do cover one hearing test per year. Other insurance coverage varies. Call the number on the back of your insurance card to see if you have coverage.
- The difference between high and low price aids is essentially performance in noise and sound quality. The price range these days should be between $1,800 and $7,000 for a pair of hearing aids, depending on the sound processing ability of the hearing aid.
- Expect it to take time for your brain to rewire and adapt to hearing things you haven't heard in a long time.
- There are a dozen or so hearing aid manufacturers, but the most well known ones are Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex. Each has a niche and none makes a hearing aid that's right for everyone, so make sure that your audiologist offers hearing aids from multiple manufacturers.
- One of the most important hearing aid options is a telecoil. It is actually a very common feature that doesn't cost any extra, but you have to make sure the one you buy has it. Here is a brief video that shows what it does.
Reconnecting Bluetooth Hearing Aids
One of the most popular features in hearing aids these days is bluetooth connection to a cell phone. Hearing aids that can be connected to your cell phone allow you to hear a phone call through your hearing aids, use your phone to control you hearing aids, find your hearing aids if they get lost, and listen to music or podcasts through your hearing aids. Bluetooth can get disconnected sometimes, so here’s a cheat sheet on how to reconnect them:
- Open hearing aid battery doors (If you have rechargeable hearing aids, put the hearing aids in the charger)
- Go to “Settings”
- Go to “accessibility”
- Go to “MFi hearing devices”
- Tap on your name
- Choose "forget device" at the bottom
- Close hearing aid battery doors (If you have rechargeable hearing aids, take the hearing aids out of the charger)
- Once it displays you name and both “L” and “R”, choose it
- Choose "pair" both times when it asks if you want to pair
- Important: wait 1 minute before you exit the screen so hearing the aids can finish pairing
Here are the customer support phone numbers if you need further help and can't reach me:
ReSound: 888-735-4327 and the "Connectivity Guide"
Oticon: 855-400-9766 and the connectivity support page