Do you think you may need hearing aids? If you find that you’re turning up the sound on the TV or asking people to repeat themselves, it may be time to improve your hearing. Before you make any decision, here are some steps to take before buying hearing aids.

1. Do some research

The internet is a great place to start to find out information about hearing tests and hearing aids. Your local audiologist’s website offers many articles about hearing health and you’ll also find a good deal of information on university websites and professional organizations dealing with hearing issues. It’s also a good idea to check the newspaper for any local health fairs or seminars regarding hearing aids.

2. Talk to friends and family

There’s a good chance you know someone who wears hearing aids. You can get some good first-hand advice and information about what takes place at a hearing test, how hearing aids are fitted and how to care for the units. You may also receive some good recommendations for audiologists. Because there are many styles and types of hearing aids, it’s important to remember that you may not receive the same exact devices as your friend.

3. Have a hearing test

This is the first and most important step! Seeing an audiologist for a hearing test determines the degree of hearing loss and what style of hearing aids will best help you. In addition to a physical check of your ears, the audiologist will give you several hearing exams to test how well you hear volume and pitch. These results are used to program your hearing aids to boost sounds where needed. Some so-called hearing aids on the market are only amplifiers and may not solve your hearing issues. It’s vital to have a hearing test before purchasing hearing aids.

4. Don’t rush into a purchase

If you need hearing aids, you will find that they make a big difference in daily life! You’ll notice sounds you haven’t heard in years. While that’s very exciting, it’s also important to consider the cost. Take some time before diving in to buy the devices. When you are ready to purchase hearing aids, take a moment to review your budget, as well as the features and style of the hearing aids. Ask questions! Is there a trial period? Can I pay over time? Can I use a credit card? Is there a warranty? You should feel comfortable with the answers to these questions before moving ahead and paying for hearing aids.

One of the most common reasons for hearing loss is aging. Today’s hearing aids are made with an active lifestyle in mind. With these steps to take before buying hearing aids, you should feel comfortable with your purchase choice. Remember, your audiologist has a wealth of information and is there to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and your budget.