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Hopefully, you’ll only have to purchase hearing aids once or twice in your lifetime. But that also means that shopping for hearing loss solutions can become an unfamiliar and overwhelming task.
Luckily, your audiologist assists folks find their ideal match every day. With a little prep work, we’ve gathered some tips to help you with choosing the right hearing aid.
How Hearing Loss Works
If you’re like the majority of Americans with hearing loss, it’s a condition that snuck up on you later in life. That’s because aging is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, impacting one-third of Americans over the age of 65.
Time itself wears away at the health and resiliency of the inner ear cells, which play an important role in hearing. They are responsible for collecting noise from the world around us and translating it into sound information that is then sent to the brain.
As they decline in number, we hear less of the full spectrum of sound. Slowly and subtly, age-related hearing loss progresses until it begins to negatively impact our mental, emotional and physical well being.
Hearing Aids 101
Age-related hearing loss is irreversible, but there are proven and successful interventions on the market that can make listening an easier and more enjoyable activity again. Hearing aids are one such product.
These devices consist of three basic parts: a microphone, a receiver (speaker) and a battery. They can be worn completely within the ear (in-the-ear models), sometimes nearly invisible and ideal for mild or moderate hearing loss. Their parts can also be housed in a combination of in and out of the ear (behind-the-ear models), where the microphone sits in the ear canal and the remainder of the device rests outside of the ear. The latter type of hearing aid is best for moderate to severe hearing loss.
Today’s upgrades include apps for ease of use, computer processing for intelligent sound delivery and rechargeable batteries for sustainability.
Tips For Choosing The Right Hearing Aid
Crowdsourcing feedback is a smart way to get an idea of what you want in a hearing aid before you really begin shopping. You’ll be exposed to different models, manufacturers as well as the real experiences of real customers. This way, you’ll have some background knowledge and even some questions to take to your audiologist before you begin the search process in earnest.
Basic versus High Tech
While nearly all of today’s hearing aids contain some type of computer tech, the user levels still vary. You can purchase a basic model that requires little computer literacy, the latest innovation incorporating AI learning, or many stops in between. Your budget and experience level will help determine where you fall on the spectrum and which model will work best with (and for) you.
Download to your audiologist
If you’re already a hearing aid wearer looking to make an upgrade, it helps to come in with a pros/cons list about your current hearing aids. This can help your audiologist replicate what you liked about your previous model and make targeted changes to fix the negative aspects.
Take them for a test drive
The benefits of trying out a hearing aid or other hearing loss solution before you buy are enormous. This way, you can try them out in all of the different situations that you hear in. This is a great way to choose between two different models or to amp up your confidence before taking the leap on your first choice.
Make the time for follow ups
Choosing the perfect hearing aid is half the battle. Once you’ve determined which kind to purchase, don’t skimp on the follow-up appointments where some very important work happens. These appointments with your audiologist will fine-tune your use and comfort level. In these meetings, you can provide your real feedback to your team so that your hearing aids are functioning at their highest level.
Schedule A Hearing Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about how hearing aids might improve your wellbeing, schedule a hearing consultation with our highly trained team today. We’ll lead you through a quick hearing exam to determine if you are a good candidate. Then, we’ll work with you to get you on the path to your healthiest hearing yet.