AS part of Hearing Awareness Week (March 1 – 7), audiologists are urging people not to persevere with unsuitable or inferior hearing aids.
About 49 per cent of Australians aged 40 and over living with hearing loss are putting up with a hearing aid that doesn’t fully suit their needs, because they are worried that the cost will be too high to fix it (41 per cent) or the process too confusing (25 per cent), according to Specsavers audiology research.
“Two things are incredibly important when looking after your hearing,” says Fremantle Specsavers audiology professional Hanny Listyowati.
“First one is to make sure you are getting your hearing checked regularly to ensure that any changes are noticed by your audiology professional.
“Secondly, make sure you ask all the right questions at your appointment to ensure you’re getting the right hearing solution for your lifestyle, budget and needs with the aftercare you deserve.”
Listyowati suggests discussing the following with your clinician if you’re being recommended a hearing aid, so you can make an informed decision:
• Price – be open and transparent about your budget and demand that your chosen audiology professional does the same with their prices and the best value for you. Demand price transparency.
• Your needs – make sure that you are given the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle needs and wants with the audiology professional; they should of course be interested in what you can’t hear, but also which situations you want to.
• Aftercare – hearing aids take a while to get used to once fitted – sometimes up to three months – and in the first year you may need some adjustments, so you should feel comfortable with the aftercare before you commit.