Finding the Right Hearing Aid for You: Tune Out the Distractions
In-the-canal vs behind-the-ear hearing aids? Directional vs non-directional? Digital vs analog?
Instead of inspiring us, sometimes choice can lead to feelings of inertia. When the choices are couched in unfamiliar language and you’re outside your comfort zone in terms of knowledge, then making an informed decision is tricky.
However, a hearing device represents a considerable financial investment, so you need to get it right. This dilemma can lead to you putting off that hearing test or following one up as a means of postponing having to make a final decision.
It doesn’t have to be like that
The simple solution to choosing the right hearing aid is to think about what you need, rather than what’s available. Once you have a clear idea of what you want, you can hand that list over to an expert, such as an audiologist. An audiologist will then use their professional knowledge to narrow down the options and discuss with you what’s going to work best.
Imagine your ideal device
Dream a little and imagine your ideal device. Think about factors that could influence your decision, such as dexterity or budget. Weigh up the following ideas to create your own ‘wish list.’
- How important is discretion, when wearing hearing aids? Do you mind the device being visible or would you prefer to keep it ‘your little secret?’
- What budget do you have to work with? Will your medical insurance meet part or all of the cost?
- How nimble fingered are you? Miniaturized devices have smaller buttons or dials whereas more traditional behind-the-ear aids tend to be better for stiff fingers
- Do you have hobbies or interests with special demands? For example, a waterproof device is great for keen swimmers, while a device that cancels out wind noise is ideal for hikers.
- How severe is your hearing loss? Mild hearing loss gives you the greatest flexibility when choosing a device.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many of these boxes can be ticked. Modern technology has led to amazing miniaturization and near invisible devices that remain extremely powerful.
Of course an element of compromise may be involved, and you may need to trade off amplification against size, or size against your budget (the smaller the device, the costlier they are). At the very least this gives you a starting point to think through the options.
Now talk to your audiologist
Schedule a hearing test with an audiologist and take your list along.
Audiologists have an in-depth knowledge of the different types and models of hearing device. They can use your wish list to draw up a short list of suitable devices. Then they’ll talk you through the pros and cons, so you can make a truly informed decision about what works best for you.
Tune out of the distractions and hone in on what you want, as the best way to choose your perfect hearing device.