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What's behind our hearing aid Ratings?

The Consumer Reports National Research Center comprises highly trained social scientists, including 9 Ph.D.s, using state-of-the-art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year about products, services, health care and consumer issues.
We look for:
  • Reader score
    Reader score reflects overall satisfaction with the retailer from which the hearing aid (or aid pair) was purchased.
  • Evaluation
    Evaluation refers to the thoroughness with which the retailer evaluated hearing loss.
  • Discussion
    Discussion pertains to how well interactions with retailer staff focused on the consumer’s specific needs.
  • Options
    Options indicates the quality of discussion focused on hearing aid options.
  • Selection
    Selection refers to the number and variety of hearing aids offered.
  • Answering questions
    Answering questions pertains to the effectiveness of retailer staff in answering the consumer’s questions.
  • Courtesy
    Courtesy pertains to the general courtesy of staff.
  • Training
    Training indicates the time spent by the retailer showing the consumer how to use and maintain the hearing aids purchased.
  • Follow-up service
    Follow-up pertains to the retailer’s willingness to adjust and help the consumer with the hearing aids in follow-up visits after the purchase was made.

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Hearing aid buying guide

If you're older than 45, there's about a one in five chance you suffer from some amount of hearing loss--and that rate climbs steadily as you age. Almost one-third of people ages 65 to 74 report difficulty hearing, and the number rises to about half at 75, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Hearing loss can wreak havoc with your social life, causing you to avoid activities such as going to restaurants or parties. It can also increase your risk of falls, possibly by making you less aware of your surroundings and impairing balance, and it can make driving dangerous. A recent study at Johns Hopkins University even linked untreated hearing loss to a higher risk of developing dementia.

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