How to Choose a Hearing Aid

If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss in Walnut Creek, you are no doubt trying to adjust to a completely brand-new way of life. Fortunately, most cases of hearing loss can be treated quite effectively with hearing aids. With a large variety of choices available, narrowing down your selection may feel intimidating. Don’t worry – we can help you make a sound decision.

Yes, that was intentional.

What to Look for in Hearing Aids

Man looking through binoculars

The first step in choosing hearing aids is determining your type and degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids do a remarkable job at helping you communicate on a daily basis, but there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Your Bay Area audiologist will complete a thorough hearing evaluation to measure the severity (classified anywhere from normal to profound) and frequency of your hearing loss, as well as whether it affects your outer, middle and/or inner ear(s). This information will help you find a hearing aid that addresses your specific hearing needs.

Next, you’ll want to consider functionality. Hearing aids are available with a wide range of features, but you probably won’t need all of them. Besides, the fewer bells and whistles, the lower the overall cost. Some of the more popular features include:

  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Directional microphones
  • Feedback suppression
  • Digital noise reduction
  • Wax guards
  • Automatic programming

Your audiologist in Walnut Creek can provide you with detailed information about these features and how they may help you. Much of it depends upon your lifestyle.

How active you are is another important factor to think about when choosing hearing aids. Some people are content with quiet, intimate gatherings with a few close friends or loved ones, while others are social butterflies who enjoy frequent parties and other events with lots of people. Hearing aids are designed for a wide variety of lifestyles, so you’ll want to fine one suited to your needs.

Because the key to hearing aid success involves wearing them every day, it’s important to choose hearing aids you find cosmetically appealing. Whether you are self-conscious about your hearing impairment and looking for hearing aids that are as discreet as possible or don’t mind wearing a pair that is easily visible to others, you’ll have plenty of styles to choose from. Some are worn deep in the ear canals, making them virtually invisible, while others hook over the back of your ears for easy accessibility. There are pros and cons to each; your audiologist can help you decide which is best for your needs.

Finally, you’ll need to crunch a few numbers and determine how much hearing aid you can afford. Prices vary widely depending on style and features; while cost is of course a key factor, the most important consideration is finding hearing aids that meet your hearing needs and will help you enjoy a higher quality of life.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, that’s perfectly natural. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your Walnut Creek audiologist to go over all your options in person. After all, hearing aids are a major investment – one you don’t want to take lightly.