Visit Hanan Merrill at the Nanaimo Hearing Clinic at 501-800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza.

Visit Hanan Merrill at the Nanaimo Hearing Clinic at 501-800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza.

The 3 types of hearing clinics, and the pros and cons of each

Should you find the best price, the best brand or the best fit? Advice from an expert

If you’ve realized it’s time for hearing aids, you’ve probably noticed there is a lot of choice. A hearing practitioner can help you narrow down the brands and models, but first you have to choose a practitioner!

Hanan Merrill, a hearing practitioner and owner of Nanaimo Hearing Clinic, shares the three types of hearing clinics, and the pros and cons of each.

1. Big box store clinics

There’s no doubt it’s convenient to pick up new hearing aids while shopping for groceries or patio furniture, and Hanan says big box stores usually have the cheapest prices, too. But it comes at a cost.

“You typically sacrifice service. If you know exactly which brand and model of hearing aid you need, you might do just fine at a big box store. But not everyone adapts to hearing aids quickly, and most people need extra support to achieve satisfying results,” he says.

Many people need to try a variety of brands before they find one that feels comfortable, or need coaching and fine-tuning to adapt the sound to their needs. That level of service isn’t always offered at big box stores.

2. Chains and Franchises

“The biggest advantage of chain hearing clinics is that you can access their services across the country,” Hanan says.

When you invest in hearing aids, servicing is often included. So if you think you might move, purchasing from a chain is a smart move. But the selection at chain hearing clinics is often reduced, and you may not get the best advice.

“Most franchises are owned or heavily funded by a manufacturer, which means you have less choice, and are strongly encouraged to choose a specific brand. You may get lucky and find a good fit, or you may end up with a brand that doesn’t work for you.”

3. Independent hearing clinics

For strong service, great selection and unbiased advice, independent hearing clinics are usually your best choice. Most aren’t funded by a specific brand or manufacturer, and are locally owned and operated to keep money in your community.

“Sure, as the owner of an independent clinic I’m biased, but they generally offer the best service. When you’re spending thousands of dollars to improve your hearing, you want every possible advantage to achieve the best result. Independent clinics offer the widest selection and personalized service to find you the right fit,” Hanan says.

Ready to learn more? Book an appointment by calling 250-585-4100 or at nanaimohearingclinic.com/contact. Find Nanaimo Hearing Clinic at 501-800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza.

Health and wellnessSeniors

Just Posted

The City of Nanaimo has developed concepts for an extension of the Harbourfront Walkway from Departure Bay ferry terminal to Departure Bay Beach. (City of Nanaimo image)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City hasn’t shown it has capability to build walkway

Is it really a good idea to consider a hyper-expensive, complicated mega-project, asks letter writer

Regional District of Nanaimo directors discussed asking the provincial government for increased funding, awareness and enforcement against human trafficking. (File photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo asking province to better address human trafficking issue

Directors agree to write to the premier and solicitor-general after hearing from advocate

Conductor Willi Zwozdesky and pianist Nico Rhodes led 66 local vocalists in song for the Nanaimo Sings video project Keeping Calm and Singing On. (YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo Sings virtual performance features 66 vocalists

Fifth Nanaimo Sings festival was to have taken place this year

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
UPDATE: Queen presents Nanaimo doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

A driver was taken to hospital after crashing a pickup truck into a tree on Rutherford Road near Bradbury Road on Friday, May 14. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Driver taken to hospital after crashing truck into tree on Rutherford hill in Nanaimo

RCMP investigating incident at Rutherford and Bradbury roads on Friday, May 14

Tamara Cameron, Uplands Park Elementary School music teacher and librarian, students Ben Leduc, second from left, Avery Kojima and Kinley Robson, as well as other music students from the school, will benefit from $8,000 from MusiCounts, for instruments and recording equipment. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Money for new instruments music to ears of Uplands Park school staff and students

Grant from music education charity MusiCounts means students will have more ways to be creative

Sarah Boileau in her home studio on Monday, May 10. Boileau’s work will be on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville through May 30. (Submitted photo)
RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)
Man arrested in Nanaimo after failed attempts at bank robbery, ATM mugging, shoplifting

RCMP arrest suspect in office-supply store after ‘short-lived crime spree’

Most Read