4 Tips for Selecting a Hearing Aid
If you have hearing loss and you are considering getting a hearing aid fitted, you may find the choices a bit daunting. There is a wide variety of different hearing aid styles and no two hearing aids are the same in terms of features and functionality. If you want to get the best out of your hearing aids, it is important that you choose the right one for your lifestyle. A hearing instrument specialist can help you through this process and make recommendations for hearing aids that suit your needs.
When selecting a hearing aid, it helps to understand the different types available and some of the common features that may be useful to you. Here are a few important tips to follow when choosing hearing aids.
Understand different types of hearing aids
Most hearing aids work in the same way; small microphones collect and amplify sound from the environment and deliver it to the ear using small speakers. However, the way that hearing aids fit in the ear, the size and shape vary a lot. These are the main hearing aid styles that you will come across.
Behind the ear
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids hook over the top of the ear and sit just behind. There is then a small piece that sits inside the ear and connects to the outer part via a tube. They are suitable for people with all kinds of hearing loss and they are capable of amplifying sound more than other types. They are the largest type of hearing aid although newer models are still very discreet.
In the ear
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit snugly inside the ear, without an outer part. They are custom made and come in two styles; one that fills the entire outer ear canal and one that fills the bottom half. They are more visible than some other devices but still relatively discreet and they are suitable for people with mild or severe hearing loss.
In the canal
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fit further inside the ear canal, so they are less visible than any other styles. However, they are smaller so cannot always fit the same features that larger hearing aids can, and they are sometimes prone to clogging with earwax.
Tips for selecting a hearing aid
Once you understand the different types of hearing aid available, you can start looking at your different options. Here are some simple tips to help you make the right choice.
Seek advice from a hearing instrument specialist
The best thing to do is to see a hearing instrument specialist and get their advice on which hearing aids are best for you. They will be able to assess your hearing loss and ask questions about your lifestyle to determine which hearing aids are the best fit for you. When you have your hearing aids fitted, they can also help you make some small tweaks, so you can get the most out of them.
Consider additional features
Hearing aids come with a range of additional features and you need to consider which ones are most useful to you. Common features include:
- Wind noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Telecoils for improved hearing while speaking on the phone.
- Wireless connectivity with smartphones, TVs and computers
- Direct audio input
- Remote controls
- Variable programming
It’s important that you consider which of these added features is most applicable to your lifestyle. For example, if you watch a lot of television, hearing aids with direct audio inputs or wireless connectivity are ideal. But if you would rather spend time outside, you should prioritize wind noise reduction.
Think about your future needs
Your hearing changes over time, so consider your future needs when investing in hearing aids. For example, are you able to increase the power of your hearing aids if your hearing gets worse? If your lifestyle changes, you may have a need for extra features that you didn’t need before. Planning means that your hearing aids will be useful for longer and you don’t need to replace them as often.
If in doubt, ask about hearing aids with a trial period. It usually takes time to get used to new hearing aids and decide whether they are right for you. A trial period allows you to do this without committing to anything.
If you are unsure how to select the best hearing aids, a hearing instrument specialist at Stanwood Hearing can help. Get in touch today at 360-502-4644 and we can help you choose the perfect hearing aids.