When you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss and your provider recommends hearing aids, you’ll probably have a lot of questions.
The type of hearing aid you’ll need will depend on:
- The severity of your hearing loss
- The type of hearing loss
- Your age and lifestyle
- Physical factors (like dexterity)
- Your preferences
Consider your lifestyle and daily routine when you pick your hearing aid.
There are low-priced, one-size-fits-all hearing aids out there—you’ve probably seen them in your drug store or another retail store. Think of these like you do drugstore reading glasses—they may be ok for occasional use, but they’re probably not going to achieve the long-term results you want.
Remember—there’s more to “fixing” hearing loss than just turning up the volume. When you have hearing loss, you stop hearing certain sounds and your brain actually stops processing certain types of information. Restoring your hearing involves retraining your brain, which means wearing your hearing aids about 10-12 hours a day.
Your hearing loss profile will help determine how many channels you need in your device (and no, more channels isn’t always the best route). Your lifestyle will also affect what type of hearing aid you need. If you spend a lot of time on the phone or in groups where you need to understand a lot of voices at once, you’ll need something different from a person who spends most of their time in quieter environments. What you want to hear is also important. You may have slight hearing loss, so you’d assume you need a basic hearing aid, but, you also play the guitar or piano so you’d want an aid that provides more clarity.
Are you often in complex listening environments, like restaurants, parties, noisy work environments?
Consider these features when deciding on your hearing aid with your provider.
- Channels. Having more channels doesn’t mean the hearing aid is the best for you. The type of hearing loss you have will influence what channels you need and how they’re tuned.
- Directionality. Multiple microphones focus your hearing on the sounds that are in front of you. This helps cut through the background noise (like in restaurants, parties, etc.)
- Noise reduction and speech enhancement. A chip in the hearing aid analyzes sounds. It identifies static sounds (like running water, dishwasher, things that have a constant pitch) and dynamic sounds (like speech, TV, etc.). The hearing aid separates these types of sounds, boosting the dynamic and minimizing the static.
- Feedback suppression. A chip in the hearing aid monitors incoming sounds and cancels the feedback.
- Wind suppression. This system works to minimize the whooshing sound of wind blowing across your hearing aid.
Working with a provider when choosing your hearing aid will help ensure you get the device that meets your specific needs.
- “News, Tips, and Resources: How to Pick the Right Hearing Aid for You.” TruHearing.
- “Ask a TruHearing Provider: I see ads for low-priced hearing aids developed by an MD with testimonials bragging about great results. Do they really work?” TruHearing.
- “News, Tips, and Resources: Top 5 Hearing Aid Features and Why You Want Them.” TruHearing.