Hearing aids: Where to start?

Hi, I always come here when I’ve got a question so here goes…

I know, or have been told, I NEED HEARING AIDS! I have Medicare/Medicare Supplement insurance now, but no coverage I don’t think, but was wondering, is it best to go to an ENT or audiologist to get the diagnosis first, and then seek out where to buy a device? I know there is now over-the-counter aids, does anyone have a preference?

Re: devices, is there styles that you really like? That work better? Do you get re-chargeable batteries or replaceable batteries?

ANY and all advice is extremely welcome!
Thank you!

Beware that the hearing aid business is in a period of change and adjustment. I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 15+ years and find Costco does a great job.

I prefer the behind-the-ear type with disposable batteries. I have a pair of Resound hearing aids presently and they’ve worked very well for about 4-5 years. They cost about $2,800 for the pair and a wife-mike we don’t use and a blue-tooth TV audio transmitter I do use. They connect to my iPhone via blue tooth so phone calls are a breeze.

H200h, thanks so much for responding! Do you need to replace often? Or do they last for decades as long as your hearing doesn’t change? Also, are your aids something you just pop in in the morning and leave in all day? Thanks!

I’ve had some that didn’t last but a year or so. I couldn’t tolerate the in-the-ear types and if your ears make lots of wax all of them can be a pain to keep clean. The things that usually fail are the receivers, (the thing that dangles from the main unit and goes in your ear.)

It took me two or three different brands before I found one that worked well. Moisture is the enemy of hearing aids so don’t get them wet and look for ones that are moisture tolerant.

Costco gave me a 90-day trial period, ask them if that’s still in effect.

My husband just got his first pair for under 2K at Sam’s he hears so well and most importantly he wears them ALL the time. He has been watching prices and asking friends and ENT use the same certified staff for testing and fitting. It includes several weekly visits to check and adjust to get them right for the individual and they go over the extensive info they give you on the first visit. After a couple weeks he is recommending them to friends because the of the excellent customer service here in Ft. Wayne IN. I believe Costco has similar service but this team convinced him when they could answer his questions w/o “selling” pressure. Good luck!

H200h, thank you for those tips. I think I’d appreciate having a trial period. Right now I have no idea what/how they’ll be like for me.

Cyndy, thanks for responding! Do you know the brand or style your husband has? If he’s recommending any particular ones I’d be interested in that.

There is both a Sam’s and Costco near me in Wisconsin. I’m not a member of either but will become one if it’s important to do so!