Today’s hearing aids are more innovative than ever before. With much to choose from, navigating your options can be overwhelming. Your hearing healthcare provider will provide significant guidance, recommending devices that can optimally meet your hearing needs. To better prepare for this process and help you choose the best device for you, here are a few helpful tips you can apply:
1. Identify your hearing needs.
It is important to learn more about your healing health and what your hearing needs are. This starts by having your hearing assessed by a hearing healthcare specialist. The evaluation process is painless and measures your hearing capacity in both ears. This reveals what your hearing loss is in each ear, informing the type of hearing aid that will best meet your hearing needs.
2. Learn more about hearing aid types.
A major way that hearing aids differ is the type, or style of device. This refers to how the hearing aid is worn which is usually indicated by a three letter acronym. Hearing aids can be divided in the following way:
- Behind The Ear (BTE): one of the most common types of hearing aids is a BTE device which is worn behind the ear. Hearing aid components are in a hard shell case that sits behind the ear. A thin tube connects the case to an earpiece that is worn in the ear canal. There are different types of BTE hearing aids including receiver in the ear (RITE) and mini BTE devices.
- In The Ear (ITE): ITE hearing aids are custom made using molds of your ears which are taken by your hearing healthcare provider. These devices are worn in the ear and the custom feature ensures a seamless and comfortable fit. There are different types of in the ear hearing aids including: completely in canal (CIC) and in the canal (ITC).
The style of hearing aid that works best for you is informed by the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing, which can range from mild to more profound.
3. Consider lifestyle factors.
In addition to the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing, lifestyle factors are also considered when choosing a hearing aid. This includes the types of environments you are regularly in: work setting, social life, hobbies, activities etc. These factors help identify what your hearing aid needs to be equipped with to support your hearing in these environments.
4. Establish a budget.
Another useful tip is to identify your budget. Hearing aids can significantly range, offering different price points depending on the model and technologies the device offers. Establishing a budget beforehand will help you navigate your options and it will also allow your hearing healthcare provider to recommend devices within your budget. Be sure to ask your provider about warranty plans and trial periods which can also be useful.
5. Explore hearing aid features.
Hearing aids are constantly being updated and innovated with cutting edge hearing technologies that are developed. There are numerous features that are designed to sharpen sound quality and create the most personalized listening experience. This includes:
- Wireless connectivity: using Bluetooth technology, hearing aids are able to wirelessly connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices. This allows them to stream audio directly and to adjust sound in specific ways to meet your needs. This feature makes it easier to talk on the phone, listen to music, enjoy watching TV etc.
- Digital noise reduction: this feature reduces background noise, delivering enhanced sound quality. This is especially useful in environments that are tougher to hear in like social settings, work, and restaurants.
- Tinnitus management: tinnitus (ringing or buzzing sound in the ears) is a common symptom of hearing loss. This feature emits low levels of white noise to distract the brain from tinnitus which provides sustainable relief.
- Voice recognition: this feature recognizes and remembers your voice, delivering the sound of your voice as naturally as possible.
In addition to these features there is a range of hearing aid accessories that also support hearing health. Be sure to discuss these features and additional resources with your hearing healthcare provider who can help identify what would be the most useful for you.
These tips can help you navigate your hearing aid options in an informed way. Contact us today to learn more about hearing aids and the options that are available for you to choose from!
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