If you’ve asked yourself, “Do I need hearing aids?” it may be time to get your hearing checked. If you do need hearing aids, there are quite a few decisions to make. Before it becomes overwhelming, it’s a good idea to do some research and ask questions. Here’s what to consider before buying hearing aids.

Have your hearing checked

Before heading out to buy hearing aids, it’s important that you have a hearing test to determine the degree of any hearing loss and what style of hearing aids may best help you. Hearing healthcare professionals perform a variety of hearing tests. Because a hearing test and hearing aid fitting are so crucial to a successful experience with hearing aids, avoid buying any devices over the internet.

Work the internet

Do some research to learn about hearing tests and hearing aids. From an audiologist’s website to professional organizations, it’s a good idea to brief yourself on what different hearing aids are available and jot down any notes or questions you might have. Your audiologist will help you find the right device, but being familiar with the different styles or features might help limit some confusion.

Talk to those in the know

Meet with friends and family members who wear hearing aids. Their experiences could be of great help to you when it comes to finding a provider and learning about hearing aid styles. While there are different types of hearing loss and different means of treatment, a general overview of what happens during a visit to the audiologist or hearing aid specialist will help to put you at ease. They also can provide first-hand information about hearing aid fittings and care.

Take your time

When you are ready to purchase hearing aids, give yourself some time to consider the purchase. It’s a lifestyle change (for the better) and it may take some getting used to. Evaluate the service you’ve received from your audiologist and ask questions. Can I pay over time? Can I use a credit card? Is there a warranty? Is there a trial period? These are all valid concerns and you should have answers before deciding on a specific set of hearing aids.

Don’t expect miracles

Hearing aids can greatly improve your day-to-day life. However, hearing aids cannot fix all hearing issues. They cannot restore normal hearing and will not provide perfection. If someone promises you a unit that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep in mind that a deal is only as good as the unit, so doing some model and price comparison is important.

There’s a lot to consider before buying hearing aids, but with a little guidance and a few questions you can find the right units for you. Before diving in and buying hearing aids on your own, your best bet is to have a hearing test and to learn about treating hearing loss.