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4 Tips for Choosing Hearing Aids
If you are considering buying a hearing aid, congratulations! You are taking the first step towards improved hearing and a happier, healthier life. Being able to communicate and understand others is a necessity, not only for developing and maintaining relationships but also for navigating through the world safely.
But buying hearing aids for the first time can be a challenge, and you may have many questions and concerns that need to be addressed. These four tips will help to guide you through making this invaluable purchase and finding the device best suited to your hearing needs.
1. Have your hearing loss assessed by a professional
An evaluation of your level of hearing loss will tell you a great deal about the type of hearing aid and level of amplification that you need. A test called an audiogram will be carried out by your hearing instrument specialist, and it will reveal the type and degree of your hearing loss in each ear. This is most commonly categorized as normal, mild, moderate, severe, and profound. You will also be told your “discrimination score” which shows how well you are able to discriminate words at a comfortable volume. This score, together with the results of your audiogram, will indicate how much you will be able to benefit from a hearing aid.
Even if you are shown to only have a mild hearing loss, you are still a candidate for a hearing aid. Your hearing specialist will address your communication needs, lifestyle, and areas where you have difficulty hearing when determining the best hearing aid for you.
2. Consider which style would be best suited to you
Do you have a severe hearing loss, or is it fairly mild? Do you want your hearing instrument to be as small and discreet as possible or do you need a larger device that is easier to put in and take out?
Hearing aids come in many different styles, and the answers to these questions may help to determine the style that you need. A small hearing aid such as a CIC(Completely-in-canal), IIC (Invisible-in-canal) or ITC (In-the-canal) will be less visible, easier to use with a phone, and well-suited for mild to moderate hearing loss. However, these styles also have a shorter battery life than larger models.
A larger model such as a BTE (Behind-the-ear) is more conspicuous, but also easier to manipulate, longer lasting in terms of battery life, and better-suited to those with limited dexterity. Consult your hearing specialist about the pros and cons of each style before making your choice.
3. Decide which features matter the most to you
Before taking the plunge, think about the kind of lifestyle that you lead, and the situations you will find yourself relying on a hearing device. Some people love going to bars and restaurants where the environment is noisy. Here you will need a device with special technology which helps you focus on the conversations that are closest to you. Others love outdoor pursuits like hiking, kayaking and swimming, and will often expose themselves to the elements. These people need something hard-wearing and dust and moisture-proof that will handle anything the life throws at it. Or maybe you prefer to stay indoors and watch your favorite shows on Netflix. You will likely benefit from Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to home entertainment devices.
4. Get the most out of your fitting
As soon as the hearing aids you selected are ready to wear, your hearing specialist will then fine tune them especially for your hearing needs. This fine tuning will help tailor the device to fit your hearing ability. You should know that there is an adjustment period when you’re wearing your new device as it takes time for you and your ears to get used to new hearing aids.
You should keep your hearing specialist informed of any problems you might have while wearing them. And don’t be afraid to ask for lots of advice about how best to wear your new device.
Ready to experience the life-changing experience of hearing aids? Contact us at Hearing Aid Associates today to get started.