How Do I Choose a Hearing Aid?
If you think the choice of cell phones is confusing then that of hearing aids is doubly so. Not only do you have to decide between styles such as behind-the-ear or in-the-canal, but there are different models within each type, all with their own unique specifications.
Then there’s the cost of a hearing device, which represents a major financial commitment. Sadly, one of the most obvious way to narrow down your decision making is by price. But this is all too often an expensive mistake, because buying a cheaper device not suited to your needs means the hearing aid is more likely to languish in a drawer than see daily use.
When you recognize your hearing isn’t all that it should be and feel it’s time to wear an aid, know your best ally is an audiologist.
Do your research
Do some research online or at the library into the different types of hearing device. This helps give you a general idea of the scope and range of products available. It is helpful to know that in-the-canal (ITC) devices are the most discrete, while behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the most powerful. You may also be interested to learn there are rechargeable devices, as well as waterproof ones; all of which helps broaden your expectations and think about what you most desire from a device you will use every day.
Know your options
After that things become more daunting due to the sheer amount of choice on the market. As a member of the public it’s not easy to know which manufacturers are most respected, which devices have a reputation for reliability and which provide the best user satisfaction.
An audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional. This means not only are they highly qualified to look after your hearing health and diagnose hearing problems, but they are also duty bound to offer a professional and unbiased opinion. Theirs is a unique position when it comes to knowing both your needs (from spending time getting to know you) and how that overlaps with the features of specific hearing devices.
Seek professional advice
An audiologist is perfectly placed to work out not only the nature of your hearing loss, but also what type of device, which model and with which features are going to be best suited to you. They will also take into account things such as your dexterity, eyesight and special requirements directional microphones or the need to be waterproof.
All in all, a cheap device is an expensive drawer liner if you don’t wear it. Investing in a more expensive device truly suited to your needs means you’re more likely to wear it, making the cost ‘per wearing’ decrease dramatically.
So what are you waiting for? Be baffled no longer and enlist the help of an audiologist in the quest for your perfect hearing device.