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4 Tips for Selecting a Hearing Aid
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, then the most likely course of treatment is to fit you with a hearing aid with the help of an audiologist. Hearing aids can be truly life changing devices, able to greatly restore or improve your sense of hearing with a host of lifestyle benefits and features that allow you to achieve a new quality of life.
However, there are a lot of different types of hearing aids out there, coming in different shapes, sizes and with a plethora of different features. Figuring out which one suits you best can be a tough ask. Here, we’re going to look at four tips that can help you select the hearing aid that best suits your needs.
1. Get to know the different styles
Before you think about looking at different specific models and the comparisons you can make between them, you should get to know what the different types of hearing aid are and who they are typically best suited to. For instance, some types of hearing aid might be better suited to you depending on your degree of hearing loss. If you have mild-to-severe hearing loss, then behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids might suit your needs better than in the ear (ITE).
There are, largely speaking, three categories. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are worn behind the ear, connected through a tube to a custom earpiece made to fit your ear canal. ITE devices are worn in the outer ear itself. In-the-canal (ITC) devices are the most discreet, worn inside the ear canal itself, but they are also typically best suited only for those with mild levels of hearing loss.
2. Consider which features best suit you
Even with hearing aid models that are within the same category, there are wide levels of variation, including a host of different features that can come with the devices. Your audiologist will be able to help you discover with features will best suit your needs depending on your lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to get to know the features yourself, as well.
All hearing aids have noise reduction features that allow you to program the device to better amplify some sources of sound over the others. However, some come specifically with features like wind reduction that can be better suited to you if, for instance, you spend a lot of time in outdoor environments. There are features like directional microphones that can specifically amplify noises for a certain direction, telecoils and Bluetooth connectivity that help you link your hearing aid to other devices like phones and TVs.
3. Consider your needs and lifestyle
Knowing the different styles of hearing aids and the different features is useful information to have, but your choice isn’t being made in a vacuum. You need to consider which choice is the best for you, based on your own circumstances. As such, it’s recommended you take the time to think about your lifestyle, the lifestyle you hope to live with your hearing aids and your needs as they are right now.
For instance, if you work in an office where you need to communicate regularly, then a hearing aid with a directional microphone might be necessary. If you have trouble with your manual dexterity and with handling very small objects, then an ITC hearing aid might be too small. Consider all these factors so that you can enjoy the best results with the next tip.
4. Ask your audiologist
Lastly, in case you’re thinking of making this decision all on your own: don’t worry, you don’t have to. As well as fitting your hearing aid, your audiologist is also equipped to help you select from a wide range of hearing aids, working with your criteria to narrow the selection down to the options that suit you best.
Simply consider the tips above, getting an idea of what kind hearing aid best suits your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and your desired features. Bring some idea of what your budget is alongside it and share all this information with your audiologist. Depending on the specificity of your requests, they might not be able to find an absolute match, but they can work with you to find the closest one possible. Audiologists bring the knowledge of the hearing aid market to suit your wants and needs.
To start the process of selecting the hearing aid that suits you, or to simply learn more about Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids, you can contact us today at (605) 610-3466.