Hearing loss can be a frustrating and isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right hearing aid, you can regain your sense of connection to the world around you and improve your overall quality of life. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s where this guide comes in. Whether you’re new to hearing aids or just looking to upgrade, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing and fitting the perfect device for your needs. So, let’s get started!
Understanding Your Hearing Loss
Before you can choose the right hearing aid, it’s important to understand the type and severity of your hearing loss. There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in the outer or middle ear, such as a blockage or damage to the bones. Sensorineural hearing loss, on the other hand, is caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the two.
Consulting with an audiologist for a hearing test is the best way to determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. They will be able to recommend the most appropriate type of hearing aid for your needs.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid:
With so many different styles and features to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But don’t worry, we’ve broken it down for you.
The most common styles of hearing aids are behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-canal (CIC). BTE hearing aids are the largest and most visible, but they also have the most advanced technology. ITE hearing aids fit entirely in the ear canal, making them less visible but also less powerful. ITC and CIC hearing aids are a compromise between the two, offering a balance of size and technology.
Consider your lifestyle and needs when choosing a style. If you’re active and always on the go, a BTE or ITC hearing aid may be more durable. If you’re looking for something discreet, an ITE or CIC hearing aid may be a better option.
Exciting Hearing Aid Features
Some of the most important features to look for in a hearing aid include:
Directionality works by measuring how long it takes for the same sound to reach each of your hearing aid’s microphones. This is done with the help of the hearing aid’s multiple microphones. The hearing aid then looks at the difference in time to figure out where the sound is coming from. It uses this information to focus on sounds that are right in front of you and turn down the volume of sounds that are coming from other directions. Hearing aids with directionality will automatically focus on sounds that cut through background noise in a noisy environment.
Telecoils are a wireless receiver that lets your hearing aid connect wirelessly to hearing loops and other assistive listening systems in public places. Simply put, if you are in a large room with a hearing loop, like a theater, lecture hall, or place of worship, you can connect your hearing aid to the sound system by turning on the telecoil. Using the telecoil gets rid of background noise, so you can hear the speaker and not the rustling and commotion of other people in the room. You don’t have to ask for a receiver to do this. With telecoils turned on, it’s like you can hear someone from inches away, not from across an auditorium. Ask at the service desk for a wireless FM or infrared receiver with a neckloop in places that don’t have hearing loops.
Bluetooth technology allows direct streaming of sound from personal devices. This means you can hear what’s playing on your TV or the person talking on your phone directly in your hearing aid. When you get a call, all you have to do is press a button on your hearing aids, and you are connected right away.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries are now pretty common. Consumer Reports did a survey in March 2021 and found that 53 percent of people who use hearing aids want devices that can be charged. They are easy to use, which makes them good for people who have trouble with their hand-eye coordination.
Fitting and Adjusting Your Hearing Aid
Once you’ve chosen the right hearing aid, it’s time to get it fitted. This process will involve taking impressions of your ears to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Your audiologist will also program the hearing aid to your specific hearing loss and fine-tune the settings to your preferences.
Regular adjustments and follow-up appointments are important to ensure that your hearing aid is working at its best. Your audiologist will be able to make any necessary adjustments to the settings and ensure that the fit is still comfortable.
We’re here for you once you have decided to start your hearing loss journey. Contact us today to set up an appointment!