How to Select the Right Hearing Aids for Your Needs
People experiencing hearing loss can now choose from a wide range of hearing aids to help them adapt to it. In principle, choice is good. In practice, choice can also be confusing. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to select the right hearing aid for your needs.
Start with the Basic Model
In general, you can expect to be able to choose from three main types of hearing aid. These are behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE) and in the canal (ITC). BTE hearing aids are the largest and ITC hearing aids are the smallest. ITE hearing aids are in between the two.
You may be tempted to head straight for the smallest hearing aids you can find. It is, however, advisable to resist the temptation and give all three options a fair assessment. The main reason for this is that larger models tend to be easier to use than smaller ones.
You, therefore, need to decide whether you’re prepared to sacrifice a bit of convenience in exchange for more discretion. When making this decision, keep in mind that even BTE hearing aids are much more discreet than they used to be.
Decide What Features You Really Need
Modern hearing aids can vary from very simple to very high-tech. Having a long list of features can look impressive on a box or a website. Whether or not you genuinely use advanced features typically depends partly on your lifestyle and partly on your confidence with technology.
It’s also worth remembering that using advanced features such as Bluetooth connectivity does tend to drain a hearing-aid battery relatively quickly. If you’re sure you’re always going to be able to charge your battery every night, this is unlikely to be a problem. If, however, your priority is to maximize battery life, then a simpler hearing aid might be a better choice.
Remember that, in the real world, precise customization is generally far more valuable than any add-on features. That’s one of the main reasons for going to a hearing instrument specialist for your hearing aid. They will not only help you to choose the right hearing aid for your needs, but they’ll also customize it specifically for you and your unique experience of hearing loss.
Try Before You Buy
Once you’ve found a hearing aid that looks like it could be a good fit for you, ask if you can take it home for a trial. Most hearing instrument specialists will be happy to arrange this. They will also ensure that any hearing aid you use is in totally hygienic condition.
Use this as an opportunity to put the hearing aid to a thorough real-world test. Think about anything you might want to do once you have your hearing aid and see how well your loan hearing aid performs.
Remember that trials are exactly that. If your hearing aid doesn’t work for you, then take it back and try another one. Your feedback will help your hearing instrument specialist work out why that hearing aid didn’t work for you and hence to suggest a more suitable option.