Have a hearing examination—by a qualified physician
Start with a hearing examination; see my blog on this subject. Why go to a physician and not directly to an audiologist, many of whom call themselves doctors? First and foremost, only a physician—that is, an MD—is trained to diagnose your hearing problem’s cause, which can range from garden-variety earwax blockages, to infections, to much more serious problems.
Procuring hearing aids is not like getting eye glasses
If after your examination your physician advises you to consider getting hearing aids, he or she is likely to steer you to an in-house audiologist. It’s a good place start. I suggest that you listen carefully to what the audiologist has to say. Keep in mind hearing aids are not like eyeglasses, they are much more expensive, often thousands of dollars. Don’t buy anything in your first visit to the audiologist—at least not yet—you are just at the start of your journey.
The 30-to 60-day money-back guarantee—a must!
This is by far the most important factor when you consider a hearing aid provider. You may want to ty out several before deciding what to buy. Audiologists understand this issue and in general are very accommodating. Most offer an industry-standard return policy that ranges from a minimum of 30 days to as long as 90 days. Do not buy any hearing aids without an ironclad money back guarantee of a minimum of 30 days.
Today there are many options
In addition to hearing aids, you might want to look into very sophisticated PSAPs (personal sound-amplification products), some of which rival hearing aids in performance, they are also often cheaper than hearing aids. There are also low-end and relatively cheap (but effective) devices for specific hearing issues. For example, some pocket devices simply amplify dinner conversations or connect to the TV, so you hear it at a level that’s comfortable for you while everyone else can keep it at a level that’s comfortable for them.
Most importantly involve your loved ones
Again, hearing aids are not like eyeglasses. They don’t always solve the problem as easily as eye ware. This is why you need to involve your family: spouse, children, grandchildren even friends. They are often the first to notice your hearing issues, they are also the ones you most often interact with—in addition to being the most important people in your life they are your testing ground. You will find what works best only when you try it out on them.