If you are experiencing hearing loss, odds are good that you’ll benefit from a hearing aid. But choosing the right one is no simple task. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more feature-packed than their predecessors, offering an array of options.
Narrowing the choices down can be tough, but there are a few important things you should take into consideration before choosing a hearing aid.
What Are Your Hearing Needs?
First, you’ll need to have an audiologist assess your hearing. Severity is measured in degrees of impairment, based upon your hearing sensitivity measured in decibels (dB) and your speech comprehension. It ranges from normal (0 to 25 dB) to profound (91+ dB), with a total of seven different degrees of impairment.
Equally important is the frequency range of your hearing. Conductive hearing loss, caused by damage to the outer and/or middle ear, affects low frequency sounds, while sensorineural hearing loss, caused by damage to the inner ear, results in a loss of any or all frequency sounds.
You’ll need to choose a hearing aid technology that targets your frequencies of impairment.
What Are Your Lifestyle Needs?
Functionality is an important consideration. With so many available features, styles and sizes, you and your audiologist will need to work together to find the right devices for your needs. Popular features include:
- Rechargeable batteries.
- Bluetooth® connectivity.
- iPhone and android apps.
You’ll also have to take into account your hearing lifestyle needs. Whether you enjoy quiet, intimate gatherings with a few close friends or an active outdoors lifestyle that includes a lot of background noise, there is hearing aid technology designed specifically for your hearing lifestyle.
What Is Your Style Preference?
Style preference is a key factor in choosing a hearing aid. Since you’ll be wearing it every day, it needs to be comfortable.
Hearing aids are available in a variety of sizes and styles, some visible while others are inserted deep within the ear canal, rendering them virtually invisible. Many are custom-molded to fit each individual’s ears.
What Is Your Budget?
Finally, there is cost. Price will be a factor, but be sure to consider your specific hearing needs when making this decision.
An inexpensive hearing aid that is ineffective for your hearing lifestyle will have no value to you. Conversely, you don’t want to overspend on features that won’t benefit you. Your audiologist can offer suggestions that will point you in the right direction.
Call San Francisco Audiology at (415) 362-2901 for more information or to schedule an appointment.