How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid
If you find yourself turning up the volume on the television, asking people to repeat themselves and are having difficulty hearing in noisy places, you may need hearing aids. In order to choose the right units, it’s important to have your hearing tested before you buy. There are several styles of hearing aids and all do more than just amplify. These minicomputers can boost sound and adjust frequencies to your specific hearing loss.
Begin with an exam
Not all hearing loss is permanent, so it’s important to see an audiologist for a hearing evaluation. This exam includes your medical background, any prescriptions you may have, a physical check of your ears and several hearing tests. Sometimes hearing loss is due to impacted earwax, ear infections or medical side effects and may not require hearing aids. Your audiologist will analyze any hearing loss, and if necessary, suggest the right hearing aids for you.
Discuss your needs
If you do need hearing aids, it’s important to consider your work and lifestyle. There are many features available, but it’s likely you don’t need all of them. For example, some people may want Bluetooth so they can connect to their cell phones or smart TVs without wires. Others may need special settings to adapt to environmental noise.
Almost all hearing aids feature directional microphones to tamp down background noise, along with feedback control to prevent squealing. If you have arthritis, your audiologist may suggest a hearing aid style with batteries that are easily changed or units that feature rechargeable batteries.
Today’s hearing aids are small. Some are so tiny they sit deep in the ear canal and are not visible. Others sit in the ear canal, in the ear or behind the ear. Each style has benefits and drawbacks. Smaller hearing aids may drain batteries faster. Some people don’t like the feeling of having something deep in the ear canal. Others may not be comfortable with a hearing aid that sits behind the ear. Sometimes the degree of hearing loss dictates the style of hearing aid you need. Almost all hearing aids provide a custom fit to be comfortable. Your audiologist will show you the different styles of hearing aids and discuss how each may benefit you best.
Prepare your budget
Hearing aids are like minicomputers. While insurance may cover some of the cost, expect to pay between $1000-6000 for custom hearing aids. Devices last an average of five to seven years, but if your hearing changes in that time, you may need new hearing aids. Consider an extended warranty to cover any problems that may occur after the manufacturer’s warranty is over. And don’t be fooled by low prices on the internet or stores that offer coupons. These hearing aids typically only amplify sound and are not customized to your hearing loss.
Knowing how to choose the right hearing aid is easier when you do some research and have an audiologist you trust.