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What Hearing Aid is Right for Me?

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What Hearing Aid is Right for Me? 

If you have ever done a search for hearing aids on the internet, you know how overwhelming all of the information can be. The best recommendation is to work with a doctor of audiology to find the right solution for you.To better help understand the hearing aid selection process, we have put together a list of four considerations when choosing the right hearing aid. 

  1. What are your hearing goals? 

When choosing the right hearing aid, you first need to understand what environments and situations you notice difficulty hearing. Do you have difficulty hearing in background noise? Hearing the television? The telephone? At home or at work? Different hearing aid technologies perform better in noisy environments vs. quiet. Others have advanced capabilities to sync with your television or your telephone. Every professional that works with hearing aids should have multiple options for hearing aid technologies (i.e. Entry, Mid-Level and Advanced or Good, Better and Best). The main difference between hearing aid technology levels is how well they perform in noise situations and how clear they can make speech. An advanced level of technology will filter out the noise you don't want to hear better than an entry level technology. An advanced level technology also has more frequencies to be programmed to a prescription for hearing loss, as well as a more advanced processor for improving speech clarity. 

  1. Understand your hearing loss.

A full diagnostic hearing exam will show how much hearing loss you have, what structures of the hearing anatomy are affected and how well your auditory system can process speech. Different types of hearing aids may be recommended depending on your degree of hearing loss, (i.e. mild, moderate or severe) and how well you process words (i.e. excellent, good or poor). Behind-the-ear hearing aids have more power available and may be recommended if your hearing loss is more severe. Hearing aids may be recommended to fit your degree of hearing loss but also to keep sound quality as natural as possible. If you have better low frequency hearing, an open-fit concept may be recommended to keep your ear canal from being plugged up, so your own voice and other sounds are less affected. 

  1. How is your vision and dexterity?

To successfully where and use your hearing aids, you need to be able to handle and manipulate them. As hearing aids have improved over time in sound quality and technology, they have also become much smaller. While smaller hearing aids can be more cosmetic, they can also be more challenging to use if you suffer from arthritis or have significant difficulty seeing up close. Most hearing aids also require batteries. Smaller hearing aids have smaller batteries which can be more difficult to see/handle and need to be changed more often. Rechargeable hearing aids are now available that can be a great option for patients who are concerned about replacing batteries. Your audiologist may recommend an "in-the-ear" hearing aid, which can be easier to handle, as there is only one piece to manipulate vs. a "behind-the-ear" hearing aid which has a piece that goes into your ear, as well as a piece that goes behind. 

  1. Budget

Heairng aids can range in price from approximately $500.00 to $3,150.00 per ear. The audiologist has a responsibility to let the patient know every opportunity they have to hear their best. That being said, there is no one size fits all option that is right for everyone. It is important to work with a professional that not only has your hearing goals in mind but also considers your budget and finances. Hearing aids are very sophisticated medical devices that are designed and fit to a pattern and prescription for your hearing loss. More advanced technology will perform better in background noise and give the patient a more effortless "ease of listening". However, not everyone may need or can afford the highlest level of technology. It is important to work with a professional that offers multiple hearing aid manufacturers with options for level of technology and different price points. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing difficulty, the first step is to work with a doctoral level audiologist who can diagnose and recommend the best treatment options.

If you are interested in learning more about hearing loss and hearing aids, you can use the link below to download our "Free Consumer Hearing Guide".

Free Consumer Hearing Guide

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