When a patient is sufficiently impressed by a hearing aid demonstration, they are usually interesting in wearing the hearing aids outside of my office and out into the real world. We recommend and encourage this type of real world test. That is why all of our patients are invited to have a 4-to-6 week trial for their hearing aids. To start a trial, a patient provides a deposit and we order their hearing aids. During the trial, a patient returns every 7 to 10 days for fitting and adjustment appointments. Even our patients who are buying their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th pair of hearing aids go through a trial period. We never ask a patient to pay for hearing aids up front without a trial period.
At the start of the trial, the hearing aids are not set at the patient’s final target levels. It is best to start a demonstration and trial at a beginning level so the patient is not overwhelmed by how voices and the world around them sound. During the course of the trial, the hearing aids are adjusted closer and closer to the patient’s final target levels. This allows a patient to acclimate to hearing better at a measured, steady pace.
We provide patients with exercises to conduct at home and at work to help them gauge how well the hearing aids work for them. These exercises help our patients truly understand the improvement they receive from their hearing aids. In turn, that understanding helps our patients feel more confident about their final decision to return or to keep their hearing aids after the trial period.
By the end of the trial, a patient decides if they need to extend the trial, if they chose to keep the hearing aids, if they want to try other hearing aids, or if they want to return the hearing aids. When a patient returns their hearing aids during a trial, their entire deposit is immediately refunded.