My Friends All Hate Their Hearing Aids

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When it comes to hearing devices, it’s no secret that most people don’t want one. Nevertheless, we all need to hear. We need to hear well to socialize, watch television, talk on the phone, drive a car, and, most importantly, keep our brain active and able to understand speech.

Knowing that hearing well is a responsibility to ourselves and to others, why are people still so hesitant to try hearing devices? And why is it so hard to find someone with anything good to say about their hearing aids?

Susan Peddicord, originally from Camdenton, Missouri, got her first pair of hearing devices at Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center in Naples three years ago. “I could hear, but I couldn’t understand. I would mistake one word for another. I just didn’t know where to start. It seemed to me that all of my friends hated their hearing aids. I wondered if I should even bother getting one.”

Dr. Brittany Gates, Audiologist at Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center in Naples, says that she hears comments like this all the time. “It seems like people who love their hearing aids never say much about them – either because they don’t think about it, or because they prefer that others not know they are wearing one. People who are unhappy with their hearing aids, however, are more likely to share their frustrations with others.”

What are those frustrations and how can you avoid them? Certain factors seem to influence customer satisfaction more than others.

Provider and Prescription

“The quality of the Audiologist who tests, prescribes and fits your hearing device is the most important key to determining hearing device success. What works for one will not work for all; everyone is different. Ensure that your provider is a licensed Audiologist and that your device is accurately prescribed.

Comfort and Aesthetics

If a person doesn’t like the look or feel of their hearing device, it will most likely end up at the bottom of a drawer. This is a waste of time and money. Modern-day hearing devices are small, discreet, and comfortable.

Lifestyle

Know your expectations up front. If you want a hearing device to work well in extremely challenging situations like the Philharmonic or a Mercato restaurant, investing in a high-end device is wise. If you are primarily at home and want a device to help you with the television and one-on-one conversations, a budget device may be more appropriate for your lifestyle.

Price

Know your options. Your Audiologist should offer a variety of hearing device brands and a variety of price levels to choose from. High-end devices offer the most up-to-date technology and the best clarity, but are the most expensive – approximately $3,000 each. For those on a tighter budget, entry-level hearing devices work well in quiet situations. They are approved for occasional use in background noise and cost just $999 each.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to develop your own opinion through first-hand experience. That’s exactly what happened to Susan: “When I first went for my hearing test, I didn’t want anyone to know. Now, after three years of wearing them, I can’t stop showing them off. I’ve sent 16 friends, and counting, to Decibels, and they are all happy. I love my hearing aids!”

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