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dkeefe
@dkeefe

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 01, 2018

Hearing aids

Posted by @dkeefe, Nov 1, 2018

I currently have Starkey brand hearing aids which I have had for 4 years. They work well, but I have some issues with them. I am looking for replacements (they are behind the ear type) and would like to know what is available in similar quality and cheaper. I am located near Atlantic City and would like to know if there is someone in the area that offers something similar and carries various brands, not just one

REPLY

Go to Costco. Their hearing aids are very good.

How does that work at Costco? Do you take them your hearing test done by a hearing aid specialist? Can you go back in for adjustments? How much did you pay for yours?

@dkeefe. My gut feel is that the brands are all probably similar in cost, the models within each brand vary depending on their sophistication. I had Phonaks that I loved but then my hearing lost clarity so I now have oticon Opn1. The phonaks had great directionality though. I had my hearing tested in NYC by a somewhat renowned audiologist. Her choice for me was Widex, but the audiologist who would be servicing them at home did not work with that brand, so the Phonaks were her second choice for me.

I don’t know about Costco but hearing aids do need servicing and if that is not included it may end up costing as much as purchasing from an audiologist.

My hearing loss started about 14 years ago, age related, but my daughter has a hearing loss that she was apparently born with. Her current hearing aids are ReSound, and for her they are the best she has ever had.

This is such an expensive purchase, I hope you are able to find some that are very helpful. Most audiologists will give you a trial before you have to commit. I actually had a different aid before settling on the Oticons. What is best for you varies depending on your loss so having an excellent audiologist is important.
JK

@nancydowling

How does that work at Costco? Do you take them your hearing test done by a hearing aid specialist? Can you go back in for adjustments? How much did you pay for yours?

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Many Costco locations have a hearing aid dispenser and/or an audiologist to work with you for hearing aids. I haven't used them for HA's because I was wearing cochlear implants before I knew Costco had HA's, but from what I have been told by many, many people is that Costco's HA's are about 1/2 the price of elsewhere. They have good prices on their HA and CI batteries as well.

Hi, I was recently fitted with a Widex Evoke hearing aid in my left ear. I suffered hearing loss in the left ear after a Cerebellar Stroke. I did a bit of research before choosing the aid I did. The one thing I would recommend to keep in mind, is the purchase of the hearing aid is only the first step in getting quality hearing back. What I learned about hearing aids, and how well they performed was directly related to the quality and care of the hearing aid dispenser. A hearing aid could have all the bells and whistles you would ever need, but if it wasn't fitted well to your hearing loss as well as your ear(s), then it really would not do you justice for what you spent. Washington Checkbook (a consumer ratings organization) had a table of ratings of hearing aid dispensers in our area. Costco did very well at some of their stores, others not so well. This falls in line with the care and quality of the individuals working at that location.

I also read that some features on specific instruments might not be available through them. This rings true since you can see that in other items like TVs that have specific features added or removed for their sets. That said I have always liked the quality of products that Costco sells. I also looked at many of the YouTube videos on hearing aids. There is an Audiologist in Arizona that has a very informative YouTube channel. Search for Doctor Cliff, AuD. on YouTube.

He has a number of pointers that you should look for in interviewing a potential dispenser. My recommendation is to research the various hearing aids out there, then come up with a shortlist of hearing aids and features you think you want. Then find out which dispensers sell the devices that you want. Then go out and meet with them. If you go prepared, you will quickly see if they really know what they are talking about, or are just trying to make a quick sell. They should set expectations, give you a trial period, set up a fitting/adjustment schedule and checkups. Lastly they should also perform a Real Ear Measures to insure your aid matches what the hearing test shows you need. Everyone's ears are different so this is the final adjustment to give you the best result.

For me, I decided to go to the dispenser that had the highest marks in our area. Again, these marks were based on purchasers satisfaction. The dispenser sat with me, gave a very thorough briefing on what the different types of aids offered both in form factor and features, then we decided on the brand I wanted to try. I have never had a hearing aid before and the Widex Evoke has a ramp up period of weeks/months to allow my brain to adjust to the new hearing. Each time I visit, I learn a bit more, and he makes finer adjustments to the unit. I am sure many other devices have a similar feature, but it is up to the dispenser to set it up based on your hearing loss.

I am very happy with the Widex but that might not be the one for you. More importantly I am very satisfied with the dispenser I chose. Sorry to go on so long, but hopefully you might find some of this useful.

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