Today’s hearing aids are more exciting and innovative than ever before. These electronic devices are sleek and have benefited tremendously from advancements in technology. There is a wide range of styles, features, and technologies designed to create optimal hearing in everyday life. With many to choose from, navigating your options can be overwhelming. But you can rest assured that your hearing healthcare provider will help you with this process, recommending devices that would best meet your specific hearing needs. Additionally, practicing the following strategies can also support you with selecting hearing aids perfect for you:
- Understand your hearing needs. The first step of identifying the hearing aids that would best serve you is knowing what your hearing needs are. This involves having your hearing health comprehensively evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist. Hearing tests measure hearing capacities in each ear which identifies the degree of hearing loss present. Your hearing test results will be shared with you at the end of your hearing consultation appointment. Be sure to take your time and ask questions so that you thoroughly understand what your hearing needs are.
- Learn about hearing aid types. There are several types (or styles) of hearing aids which refer to how the hearing aid is worn and where its components are. Generally, hearing aid styles can be categorized in the following two ways:
- Behind the Ear (BTE): BTE hearing aids tend to be larger, offering greater power, and best for more profound cases of hearing loss. It consists of a hard shell case that contains hearing aid components which is worn behind the top of the outer ear. A thin tube connects this portion to a piece worn in the ear. In addition to your standard BTE device, additional BTE styles include mini BTE and receiver in canal (RIC).
- In the Ear (ITE): ITE hearing aids are custom made using a mold impression taken of your ears. These hearing aids are designed to be worn in the outer portion of the ear. These devices offer a seamless fit, smaller device, and comfort. There are different types of hearing aids worn in the ear including: invisible in the canal (IIC), completely in the canal (CIC), and in the canal (ITC). These hearing aids are smaller and more discreet.
A number of factors are used to decide the style of hearing aid that would best meet
your hearing needs. This includes your degree of hearing loss as well as lifestyle needs.
- Consider lifestyle factors. There are different lifestyle factors that are important to consider when selecting hearing aids. This helps identify the types of environments that you regularly navigate – helping you and your hearing healthcare provider understand what your hearing needs are in those environments and how they can be best supported. This includes what your work environment is like, hobbies and activities you participate in, levels of social engagement and going out etc. Discussing this also helps the types of technologies your hearing can benefit from in these contexts.
- Establish a budget. Another useful strategy is to establish a budget. Hearing aids are an investment in your health and wellness. These devices can range in price and the price is informed by the specific type of hearing aid, model, and the technologies it offers. Knowing what your budget is can help you filter through your options and hone in on the features you want to invest in.
- Know about hearing aid technologies. There are numerous technologies and accessories that hearing aids offer. Knowing more about these features can help you prioritize what you are interested in and what you need. This includes: wireless connectivity, tinnitus management, digital noise reducing, sound localization, and voice recognition. These technologies are designed to deliver amazing sound quality and increase connectivity in everyday life. Be sure to discuss these features with your hearing healthcare provider.
- Try them out. Ask your hearing healthcare provider about a trial period. Many hearing aids offer a trial period, allowing you to try the device out. This is a great way to decide if a hearing aid is right for you.
These tips can help you navigate your hearing aid options. Selecting a device is an exciting step towards transforming your hearing health. Contact us to learn more about the hearing aids and hearing technologies that are available to you.