There are many hearing aids available to you, some of them are bought from high street retail stores, some bought from high level private audiological professionals and some can be bought online without ‘human’ support.
It is important to realise that the best result for your lifestyle and your hearing can be found from a highly qualified and ethical hearing care professional. There is no right or wrong answer here and after all, this is YOUR hearing journey so you need to choose the provider and technology that is best for you and your needs.
When you look for a trusted brand on the high street, you can immediately feel at ease because there is a recognised sign above the door and you generally know what to expect from the service.
Many high street stores have qualified hearing professionals employed there but is it important to make sure that you don’t feel part of a conveyor belt and don’t have to explain your life story, time and time again to different people. These are often busy stores and it can be difficult to socially distance unless they have the correct measures in place, so you may not feel as at ease as you would in a dedicated out of town hearing clinic.
Due to the stores being busy, they sometimes have to stick to allocated time slots for hearing tests and wax removal which could make you feel a little rushed. It is also important that if you purchase hearing aids from a high street retail store you ask about the aftercare service and how long this is offered for. You should be offered six month reviews to allow for the sustained service and aftercare during your hearing journey. We offer these here at Beckenham Hearing and pride ourselves on our client support processes.
Your hearing changes over time and it is important to have a review of your audiogram at least every six months, this will help you keep your residual hearing in good health for longer. Another thing to consider is getting to the store and where you will park with the current pandemic.
Many people prefer to use out of town hearing clinics so that they are lest stressed when they arrive at their appointment. Some of the high street stores offer excellent hearing care advice and the professionals are very good at what they do but like anything in life you need to make sure that the person you choose to support you is somebody who you like and trust.
Fully qualified Audiologists
When you visit a high level, fully qualified clinical professional in a private clinic (often be out of town or on a dedicated quiet street), you are generally given more time than you would have anywhere else.
These professionals (such as Neil here at Beckenham Hearing), are designed to listen to your needs and find a hearing care solution so that your lifestyle is maximised and you can live as you want to every single day. These practices will often give you more of an exclusive and unique approach to hearing care, more transparent pricing, more time to think about your decision and more of a family approach to your visit with them. Some high street stores do offer this service too but continuity of care is sometimes an issue, it’s completely your choice who you decide to work with.
They will also offer perhaps a trial period for some hearing aids, full aftercare service and technology servicing, potentially a money back guarantee, up to a five year warranty and they will offer other services as well that over time will enhance your hearing care journey.
Whoever you choose to work with, make sure that you like the person and you trust them to give you the best hearing care that is available.
There is a real mix of support for hearing care in general, some is very good and some is very poor so it is important that you are not sold to and that the technology offered is not the priority at the appointment. YOU must be the priority at the appointment at all times and made to feel heard as well in order to maximise your lifestyle longer term.
When you buy a hearing aid online you lose the personal touch and the lifestyle needs matching, for your overall hearing solution. Often the online solutions are based around price and speed of delivery which is suitable for some people with mild hearing losses but if your hearing loss is more complicated, the solution you buy online may not be a good fit.
One of the complaints when buying a hearing aid online (we have heard from our patients who did this initially before visiting us), is that it damaged their perception of what good hearing care could look like.
The marketing of the online websites can look very tempting and promising but from our experience unless a human who is highly qualified listens to your real, day in day out needs and matches that with a hearing care solution, the results are very mixed. That is not to say that there is not a place for online hearing care and it is certainly something that is becoming more common.
Often, hearing care professionals pride themselves on taking time with patients and making sure that everything that can be done is done and it is done well. Due to the current pandemic, a lot of AudiologistS now offer remote hearing care which may involve a video conferencing call if you have access to the facility to do so, to help you with your hearing at a safe distance.
Audiology is classed as an essential service and therefore you can still keep your hearing care appointments during any future lockdown periods which means you prioritise your hearing healthcare throughout everything else going on in the world.
If you would like completely unbiased advice about how to choose the best hearing care solution for you, please get in touch with Neil and the team and we would be happy to advise you CONTACT US HERE