Buying A Hearing Aid Is So Confusing

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Is it really possible to simplify the purchase of a hearing aid? The answer is, probably maybe. In fact, there is so much advertising of product A through Z that I believe many potential hearing aid wearers are too confused to take the next step.

Which manufacturers make the best hearing aids? In my opinion, the major players include Phonak, Widex, Sonic Innovations, GN Resound, Starkey, Siemens and Oticon. These manufacturers are focusing their research on digital technology in an attempt to improve speech understanding in background noise. Digital hearing aids are recommended for the active individual who can afford the technology. Digital hearing aids work best as a pair, or binaural set, to provide hearing balance. The minimal cost of low level digitals is around $2,000 and higher end digitals can cost up to $6,500 for a pair.

Make sure you have a trial period to evaluate the benefits of any hearing aid. Trial periods will range from 30 to 60 days. Professional service fees (i.e., non-refundable) should only apply if you return the hearing aid(s) for refund. The hearing health care professional needs to account for his/her time and in many cases, will spend four to five hours with a patient during the specified trial period. Dr. Izzy recommends that if you are not satisfied with the performance of the first hearing aid, try a different aid from another manufacturer with possibly different technology. The worst thing you can do is to “walk out with the same hearing problem” that you walked in with.

Dr. Izzy and his staff are always available to answer your questions about hearing care. Feel free to visit our website at

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Dr. Kirsh has over 25 years of hearing care experience. Dr. Kirsh received a B.A. in Biopsychology from the University of Maryland, a Master’s of Education (Audiology) from the University of Virginia and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with area of specialization in Audiology from the Union Institute (The Graduate School). Dr. Kirsh completed a fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, has multiple publications, and has received numerous continuing education awards from both ASHA and AAA. Dr. Kirsh is currently a Founder and Director for Audigy Group and has previously served on the Sonus Network advisory board. Dr. Kirsh’s wife, Shira Kirsh, is a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice at Alliance Speech & Hearing Center (Howell, N.J., 732-942-7220)-an affiliate of GSHBC. Dr. Kirsh has two beautiful children, Melanie and Joseph.