On average, people wait 6.5 years before doing anything about their hearing loss. In that time their hearing not only deteriorates, but it also affects their quality of life and connections with others. Taking action can seem daunting and confusing, as once you begin your search for help you are bombarded with the promise of a – ‘free hearing test’ and ‘free trials’, not to mention discounts or offers. Some of these ‘free’ offers may sound enticing, but at the end of the day your hearing is something that you don’t want to compromise on. You may actually be paying more in hidden costs that are bundled into supposed ‘free services’.
Here are a few things to consider before deciding on taking the next step and before seeking advice:
- Ask others for a recommendation. Who do your friends see and are they happy?
- Get to know your potential hearing professional. What qualifications do they have? How long have they been in the industry? Are they locally owned?
- Get to know the practice. Are they independent? This is important as an independent practitioner can offer you unbiased advice on hearing solutions; they are not owned by a multi-national company.
- Are they receiving commission on sales? Sadly, many hearing professionals do receive commission on hearing aid sales and this can shift the focus from the best outcome for patients to making their sales target each month. Practices are not required to tell you if a clinician is receiving a commission but you should ask the question.
- Are they offering a free trial on hearing aids? A free trial is common practice in the industry, however the free trial is often bundled into a higher cost for the hearing aid.
- Don’t rush. Get a second opinion and work with someone you feel deserves your trust.