Choosing a Hearing Aid
Once your hearing loss has been diagnosed, your audiologist will work with you closely to help you select a hearing aid appropriate for your needs. This decision is based on a variety of factors including the type and degree of your hearing loss, lifestyle needs, cosmetic preferences and more.
Numerous types of hearing aids are available; while they are all designed for the same basic purpose – to amplify sounds – many subtle differences exist.
There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a hearing aid. The following tips should prove helpful when it comes to narrowing down your choices.
- Consult with an audiologist first. This medical professional will evaluate your hearing, determine the type and severity of your hearing loss, and which frequencies are affected. This is crucial information for selecting an appropriate hearing aid.
- Pay attention to functionality. Hearing aids are available with a variety of options and features designed to enhance your communication abilities. These include directional microphones, feedback suppression, amplifiers, digital noise reduction, automatic volume control and wireless connectivity. These extras can add up, so make sure you choose a device with the features you will benefit from most.
- Your lifestyle is one of the most important factors to consider. Some hearing aids work best for individuals who enjoy quiet, small gatherings, while others are designed for active lifestyles where background noise is prevalent.
- Cosmetic preference is important, too. You’ll want to feel confident wearing your hearing aids, and if you are concerned with other people seeing your devices, then a smaller aid that is worn inside the ear canal may appeal to you. If you want a device that is easier to use and aren’t worried about people noticing, a behind-the-ear style might be more up your alley. There is no right or wrong when it comes to hearing aids – just be sure to choose one you will feel comfortable wearing on a daily basis.
- Finally, consider cost. Everybody’s budget varies, and hearing aids come in a wide range of prices; they can run a few hundred dollars, or as much as several thousand dollars each. Do keep in mind that when it comes to hearing devices, you get what you pay for; it’s more important to choose an aid that will improve your quality of life, rather than focusing solely on price.