What to Consider When Looking for a Hearing Aid
Like other medical devices, hearing aids do not come with a “one size fits all” option. In order to gain the most satisfaction from hearing aids, it is crucial to consider the following:
- Your audiologist or hearing aid specialist: Getting hearing aids for the first time is an important life transition. Having a hearing healthcare professional that you trust and who carefully considers your needs will help alleviate any anxiety or confusion during the process.
- Your priorities: In order to find the best technology suited for you, a consideration of your lifestyle and hearing needs is critical. What do you want the hearing aid to do for you? Are you active and social or do you tend to stay home? Do you attend church or other gatherings where there is projected sound? Do you enjoy watching television or talking on the phone? Take note of your answers and be sure to share them with your hearing healthcare professional.
- Levels of comfort: In order to fully enjoy new hearing aids, the user will benefit most when the hearing aids fit comfortably around and inside the ear canal. A hearing healthcare professional can assist you in choosing the safest and most effective hearing aids for your specific needs. Make the most of follow-up appointments with your heaing healthcare professional to ensure there are no issues with the fit of your new technology.
- Trial periods: After you receive a recommended hearing aid model, ask about the trial period. Many manufacturers offer 30-, 45- or 60-day trials for hearing aids so that you can test how the hearing aid will work without a full monetary commitment.
- Battery usage: Batteries are an additional cost and responsibility to continue successfully using your hearing aids. Each hearing aid style and your daily amount of hearing aid use will determine how frequently the batteries need to be changed. Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aids have the lowest disposable battery life lasting between 3-7 days, while Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids can last between 9-20 days. Rechargeable batteries also exist in many hearing aid models and require an overnight charge to power the hearing aids throughout the day.
- Additional features: Most hearing aid models come equipped with wireless technology to allow you to easier connect with televisions and cell phones. Many models also offer telecoil and directional microphones to assist in noisier settings. Consider your hearing needs and priorities to select the features that will benefit you most. Learn about new technology innovations here.
- Total price: The total price of a hearing aid may include future servicing by your hearing aid provider. Ensure you are comfortable with the services you are getting in comparison to the price that is offered.