Having gone through the 'game'....I will offer these ten bits of advice:
1. My humble guess is that a quarter of all guys over the age of fifty....have a fair amount of hearing loss, due to weapons firing, heavy equipment or work over the years. Out of every ten guys with problems.....I'd take another humble guess of only one woman with similar hearing loss. Why? Unknown. I'm still waiting for some university to do research.
2. The real cost of a hearing test? Some health insurance policies will cover it.....some work it into the deductible. A typical low-end price is $75, and a typical high-end cost is $225. The test itself takes roughly 40-to-50 minutes. For your general state of mind.....pay the cost and have it done at least once by age fifty.
3. Hearing loss goes across a spectrum. You could have significant loss on only ONE single part of the spectrum. It could go across each spectrum. The only way to tell....is the test.
4. The person conducting the test and trying to sell you the hearing aid deal.....is the same person. Just be aware of that.
5. When the test is complete.....the tester will give you a sheet identifying where your hearing is good or bad. Ask for a copy of this (demand if necessary).
6. Once the tester says you got issues.....the salesmanship starts. The guy or gal will say that they DON'T sell cheap hearing aids and the lowest they sell is $2,750 (the usual low-end). They will fit you with this one and run the bird-chirp CD, and you will be amazed at the quality of the sound.....being better than your damaged sound picks up. Then they will pull out the $6,500 hearing aid and it'll be twice as good or three-times as good as the cheaper $2,750. What the gal is not telling you.....is that the cheaper one has a 'button' which you could max the sound-pick-up double or triple what you had before.
7. The $6,500 hearing aid will always be on sale this month, with $450 off (typically). Act amazed.
8. Are there $1,499 or $1,999 hearing aids that work as well and sold nationally? Yes, at COSTCO. Brand X type devices, and they work the same way (four-star quality).
9. Why the warranty matters? Well.....guys with their first hearing aid screw up and allow water or rain to get it wet and screw it up. You learn after that.....to remove the hearing aids at times of physical action (hauling hay, driving the tractor, cutting grass).
10. There is a difference between the in-the-ear hearing aid and the hanging-off-the-ear aid. If you don't want folks knowing about your issue....the in-the-ear deal works OK. Think about this option before buying it.
Sadly, the hearing aid folks are counting on you spending $3,000 to $6,000 and help pay for their salary structure. You can get a decent deal for less. The battery deal? Well.....yeah.....if you try hard....a typical battery will last you four days. Rechargeable batteries exist.....check into them.