The perception that hearing aids are cumbersome, unflattering and make you look old can stop people from seeking treatment for hearing loss. It’s also incorrect.
Modern hearing aids are customizable and able to connect to the latest technology. Here are a few important things to consider when finding the best hearing aid that fits your lifestyle:
Know the Different Styles of Hearing Aids
There are several options when it comes to the style of hearing aid, and the type that works best for you may depend on several factors including the degree of hearing loss and size preference:
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) aids
have a plastic case that rests behind the ear and is connected to an earmold or an earpiece by a piece of clear tubing. Current models are quite sleek and hard to see.
Receiver-In-The-Canal (RIC) aids are an open-fit hearing aid that is popular because it doesn’t block the ear canal and is designed to be discreet.
In-The-Ear (ITE) aids are contained in a shell that fits in the outer part of the ear, so they are visible, but are easy to insert and adjust.
In-The-Canal (ITC) aids and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) aids are contained in tiny cases that fit either partly or completely into the ear canal. They are the smallest hearing aids available, and their lack of visibility makes them an appealing option, though the device may be felt in the ear canal.
Consider Your Technology Preferences
Bluetooth technology is included in most hearing aids and allows you to stream phone calls, music, podcasts and more directly from your devices into your hearing aid.
Remote mics are another helpful feature of many hearing aids. Let’s say you’re out enjoying a nice meal at Charleston’s Restaurant with a large group of family and friends. Everyone is laughing, talking and having a good time, but you’re having trouble picking out individual voices. You can point a remote mic at the speaker and it will optimize the sound so you can fully enjoy your conversations with an individual even in a louder setting.
T-coil technology is great if you love going to the movies or live concerts. T-coil loops into public sound systems to extend the listening range and quiet unwanted background noise.
Have Patience and Try Multiple Options
Sometimes it takes a while to find the right hearing aid. There will be an adjustment phase with any new device, and it’s wise to give it a week or two to adjust before making up your mind. During this time your audiologist can help you adjust your hearing aid to find your optimal sound and fit. It’s also important to know that it’s OK if you need to try several options before finding what works for you.
Talk With Your Audiologist
This is the most crucial step in deciding what hearing aid is right for you. No two people experience hearing loss the same way, and it’s important to communicate with your audiologist just what exactly you’re feeling and experiencing throughout the process. Talk with them about your lifestyle and hobbies, be honest about your communication needs and struggles, and share any questions or concerns you have.
To learn more about hearing aid options or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Central Plains ENT today.