Selecting a hearing solution that is right for you is crucial and the consumer champions, Which?, have looked at how to get the best hearing aid. Which? describe themselves as ‘a consumer champion, our campaigns work to make your lives fairer, our advice helps you make informed decisions and our services and products put your needs first to bring you better value‘. Your hearing solution is important and Which? has recognised this and put together a comprehensive guide. We have shown some extracts below, but for the full report head over to Which? and read the guide in detail.
What is hearing loss?
What is hearing loss, and are hearing aids the answer? Plus some myths about hearing aids.
Extract: Before you get hearing aids, you’ll need to investigate your hearing loss and have it assessed. Our guide will help answer some of the questions you might have about the process.
It’s useful to think about hearing loss in two ways – conductive or sensorineural… read more
Which is the right hearing aid for me?
Find the right type of hearing aid for you, and what to expect from the NHS and private companies.
Extract: As you start the process of getting a hearing aid, the choices can seem daunting. NHS or private? Which features? How to choose between the many brands and models on the market?
Which? and Action on Hearing Loss give you a simple overview of the steps you’ll go through – from getting your hearing assessed right through to getting your aids and dealing with any problems… read more
Where should I get my hearing aid?
Where to get your hearing aid, including the pros and cons of NHS and private aids.
Extract: Pros and cons of buying your hearing aid privately
- Likely to be in a shop, some home visits.
- You should be able to book an appointment at your convenience, with no waiting time.
- More choice of styles, especially if you want discreet or invisible hearing aids. But you’ll have to pay for the aids (hearing aids need replacing every 3 to 5 years), and repairs.
- You’ll see the audiologist – probably the same person – on follow-up visits (which you’ll need to check are part of your after-care package).
- You’re likely to have more time with the audiologist – for example, to explore options or any problems.
What’s a good hearing assessment?
What to expect when your hearing is assessed, and what happens next.
Extract: If you go privately, you will be assessed by a hearing aid audiologist (also called a dispenser). You will have tests to assess the hearing in both ears. These tests measure the type and severity of your hearing loss, and generally take place in a soundproofed booth.… read more
How to buy your hearing aids
How to buy hearing aids, including what you’ll pay, what to ask and things to watch out for.
Extract: There is a huge variation of prices, so it’s really worth shopping around. But keep in mind that you’re buying a whole, ongoing service – not just a one-off purchase of a device… read more
Hearing aid features explained
Explaining features you’ll be offered, and using your hearing aids with other technology.
Extract: With so many features and programmes to choose from, it can be tempting to think that more is better. But it’s useful to think of getting the minimum needed to customise your hearing aid so it’s right for you.
Hearing aids all contain essential parts, such as a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver (speaker), volume control and a battery… read more
Once you’ve got your hearing aid
Making the most of your hearing aid, including maintenance and follow-up.
Extract: When you get your hearing aids you should be shown how to put them in without mixing up the left and right aids, use the controls and handle and change the batteries.
You should also have the maintenance explained, and what your aids can and can’t do. Plus be told how to get used to them – for example, a schedule for wearing the aids until you get used to them… read more
What if I’m unhappy with my hearing aids?
How to deal with problems – from hearing aids not working well to a poor service.
Extract: Whether you have an NHS or privately-purchased hearing aid, your first step should be to discuss with the audiologist what you’re not happy about. A lot of the problems listed above can be resolved and no problem is too silly, so make sure you return to them for help.
Keep notes of any functional problems over several days, and note the environments in which you have them. If you’ve bought your aids privately, keep track of the trial period and try and resolve issues during this time.… read more