4 Tips to Help Choose the Right Hearing Aid
If you’re researching hearing aids, there’s a good chance you have noticed a decline in your hearing. Hearing aids can make a big improvement in your quality of life. Today’s hearing aids are like mini-computers to help improve the frequencies of sound you hear as well as amplify that sound. Here are four tips to help choose the right hearing aid.
1. See an audiologist
You’ll want to have a thorough hearing exam prior to purchasing hearing aids. An audiologist is a trained professional with an advanced degree who performs a physical examination of your ears along with several hearing tests. He or she can evaluate the reasons why your hearing has declined and determine how best to make improvements, offer counseling and guidance.
2. Research the different styles of hearing aids
There are four common styles of hearing aids and each has its benefits. They are: invisible-in-canal (IIC), in-the-ear canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. The first device, the IIC, is so small it sits inside the ear canal and can’t be seen. ITC and ITE styles sit in the inside of your outer ear and offer more features (because they are larger). BTE hearing aids may be the most familiar – these sit behind the ear with a tube that runs over the top of the ear. At the end of the tube is a microphone that is inserted in the ear canal. Each style offers benefits and your audiologist can discuss details with you.
3. Think about your lifestyle
These different styles of hearing aids have many features that may provide advantages to your lifestyle. These include directional microphones, automatic volume controls, noise and feedback reductions, and extended-life batteries. There are additional features that can help with work or hobbies, such as waterproof hearing aids, wireless streaming to connect to phones and digital music players, or sound generators to help mask tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
4. Keep cost in mind
Hearing aids are an important investment. There’s a very good reason for the cost, especially when you think about all the features available to improve your hearing. Your audiologist is there to help you find the right hearing aids for your budget. Be straightforward and honest when it comes to how much you can spend. There may be features you need while others may be optional. Most audiology offices offer financing plans and many take credit cards. Some offices offer reconditioned hearing aids with reduced costs.
These four tips to help choose the right hearing aid should help provide the basic information you need. Friends and family also are good resources of information. Remember, your audiologist will recommend the best hearing aids for your needs and review how to care for and clean your units. He or she can make minor repairs and is always available to answer questions.