Hearing aids can be a life-changing tool for people who have hearing loss. These devices work by picking up sounds from the surrounding area through a microphone, amplifying the sound, and transmitting it into the ear through a receiver. Having the assistance of a hearing aid can significantly improve many everyday experiences, such as communicating with others and hearing speech transmitted through digital devices. But for it to work well, it has to be matched with the needs of its user.
While there are many different types of hearing aid models out there, determining which one to get can be quite difficult. This is because hearing aids come in many different shapes and sizes, with some designed for people with minor hearing loss and others made specifically for those with severe to profound hearing loss. How, exactly, do you decide between an analog or digital hearing aid? Should you get a hearing aid that sits inside or outside of your ear canal? Is it worth it to get a custom-made one for your specific needs? What brand should you pick?
Indeed, figuring out the optimal choice can be challenging and sometimes even overwhelming. That being said, it isn’t impossible if you keep a cool head and do your research. Additionally, choosing the best hearing aid among your possible options can become much easier if you follow these tips:
Understand the Severity of Your Condition
Only about 1 in 5 people whose hearing can be improved through the use of these devices are actually wearing hearing aids. Most of the time, the people who can benefit from hearing aids have hearing conditions that are brought about by diseases, taking certain medications, exposure to loud noises, or one’s age. It’s always best if you ask your doctor whether or not hearing aids can improve your hearing and which models are the best fit for your particular condition. Your doctor can also point you to the people who can help you customize the device according to your specific needs and lifestyle.
Check How Good You Are at Managing Small Devices
Hearing aids are far from cheap, and you need to be able to care for them well to maximize their value. As such, before you get a hearing aid of your own, it’s important to assess how capable you are of caring for this tiny but pricey device.
If you tend to lose small devices often, then it might be a better idea to get bigger hearing aids that you can easily see. It’s also an option to adopt habits that will make you better at handling small devices before you get hearing aids. For example, you can practice keeping a pair of wireless earbuds first and be more aware of where you put them when not in use. Then, you can transfer these habits over when caring for your new hearing aids.
Determine How the Model Will Suit Your Everyday Activities
If you live an active lifestyle, perhaps it’s worth looking into hearing aids that can keep up with your level of activity. People who move around a lot might benefit more from hearing aid models that are less likely to bounce or fall off their ears while they’re jogging or dancing. If you do water sports like swimming or surfing, then you’ll likely benefit from using waterproof hearing aids that you can fearlessly take from dry land to water.
Think About How the Model Addresses Your Future Needs
What activities do you want to pursue once you have your hearing aids on hand? Perhaps you want to travel more, involve yourself in more sporting activities, or pursue certain hobbies. How will your hearing aids configure in these activities?
If you’re planning to heavily involve yourself in music or gaming, for example, perhaps you’d want to look into hearing aids that have Bluetooth connectivity and can easily connect to your digital devices. If you’re planning to open up socially and frequently visit clubs or attend concerts, you might want to look into hearing aids with noise-canceling capabilities and directional microphones so you can be more selective of what your hearing aids can pick up.
Getting Used to Your New Hearing Aids
After choosing the hearing aid model that best matches your condition and degree of hearing loss, the next thing you have to do is get used to the idea of wearing it. Just like any other medical tool, wearing your hearing aids can take some getting used to.
First and foremost, you must acknowledge exactly what your new hearing aids can and cannot do for you. While these devices won’t exactly turn your hearing back to normal, wearing them can lead to significant improvements in the quality of your hearing. It’s also a good idea to test them in multiple environments to see the difference in how they sound.
Finally, remember to go to your follow-up check-ups so that your hearing aids can be further adjusted to meet your specific needs and preferences.