One might think that research is all it takes to be prepared before making a decision of which hearing aid to buy. However, with so much information online today, one can feel lost and conclude that reading up or watching videos on a product will not be sufficient. Today we will summarise for you the 5 things you need to consider before buying a personal hearing aid in Singapore for yourself.
(1) Getting a reliable hearing test and understanding your own needs
First understand that there are many degrees of hearing loss and actually, the only way to find out the type of hearing loss that one is experiencing, simply is to actually find a specialist that is able to do a full comprehensive hearing aid test for you.
Note that, this test can only be conducted in a soundproof booth room.
- An Otoscopy – checking of ear canal conducted prior to test
- An air conduction test is then conducted (full hearing aid test)
- Followed by a bone conduction test (testing of inner ear (cochlea)’s hearing)
- If one’s ear’s hearing is much better than the other, a masking hearing test is then conducted
All these conditions and procedures have to be followed strictly. Because, without a clear diagnosis, this might lead to an inappropriate recommendation of hearing aids. Any wrong recommendation can lead to unclear speech and voices, noisy background sounds, overly amplified hearing aids, and many more!
(2) Understanding the different types of hearing aids and their features
There are many hearing aids types out there in the market:
- Outside the ear – receiver in the ear (RITE) / receiver in the canal (RIC)
This is a common hearing aid that is fairly discrete in look. The receiver sits in the ear canal, while the main body can be seen behind one’s ear
- Behind The Ear (BTE) / ultra powerful hearing aids
It transmits sound through a tube mainly through a custom earmold, with a dome that rests at one’s ear canal
- Inside The Ear / Invisible In Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)
These hearing aids are hidden and invisible to the human eye. It is suitable for mid to moderate hearing loss. Due to its minute size, one has to forgo other useful technologies such as directional microphone or wireless connectivity.
- In The Canal (ITC)
This is less discreet compared to the IIC option. Due to its size, it has other features such as dual microphone and wireless functionality, which can even allow it to be connected to one’s smart phones.
(3) Understand the different models and pricing available
Regardless of your hearing loss levels, at least 2 to 3 models of hearing aids will be suitable. The audiologist in charge should provide at least 2 to 3 choices for the patient. These models are usually basic, mid-range and premium end hearing aids. The price of one piece of hearing aid can range from ($2k up to $8k). It is important that patient get to choose the model based on their lifestyle and budget.
- Speed enhancement aid
- Allows users to converse over the phone and in different types of environment
- Speed enhancement
- Customizable programs
- Optimal sound processing channels
- Remote programming
- Echo support
- Maximum amount of customizable programs and sound processing channels
- Other add ons
(4) Choosing a reliable hearing aids provider in Singapore
Why Choose An Independent Service Provider
The reason why it is recommended that you engage an independent service provider is because they will not only supply one brand of hearing aids. Engage one that is able to hold multiple brands and models, and even better; one that is able to advise you on which model is the most suited fit for your hearing needs. The downside of engaging a manufacturer directly, is that they have limited choices, and the audiologist cannot advise you any other models out of specific brand’s range.
Why Location Is Important
All digital Hearing aids require frequent tunings, and thus filter changes due to possible ear wax blockage (this should be done at least bi-monthly). Hence, it is important to find a place close to your home, since traveling will be a constant thing.
**Tuning & Fitting Service
Paying a lot more for a premium brand or model is not always the way to solve one’s hearing problem for sure. One big key factor is actually in the specialist experience in tuning one’s hearing aids. The fitting and tuning are key factors in determining the actual sound experience that one experiences. Thus, it is crucial that one engages a reliable and experienced consultant to do the fitting for you.
In general, hearing aids clinics would normally avoid fitting for basic hearing aids as in general they are ‘noisy’ and by default tuning might not help with the noise feedback.
Reviews, Portfolio, & After Sales Service
One should take a look at the company’s Google My Business reviews under maps. And see what is their track record like; how are their recent reviews and past customers’ experience like. This will give you a gauge as to the quality of service that they provide and if they can deliver as promised.
(5) The additional offers given by your chosen provider
At Amazing Hearing, we offer up to 20% off for Singapore Merdeka generation card holders. Not only that, our comprehensive warranty (manufacturer warranty up to 4 years) ensures that our customers do not need to worry about the after sales experience. Lastly, many of our customers are given our lifetime tuning service and a yearly servicing deal with hearing aids manufacturers in Singapore.
All in all, one should either do their research or consult a hearing aids provider that is specialised in their field, that is able to advise them accordingly.