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Guide to selecting the best hearing aid for you

"by " Albert Stein
07/22/2020

 

There are several factors that can determine which hearing aid is the right model for you. This 3-step guide will help you understand how to find the best hearing aid for you. Choosing a hearing aid and having it fitted to your hearing needs can have a big impact on your quality of life. Therefore, we also recommend that you get advice from a professional hearing care expert when choosing the best hearing aid for you.

Step 1. Compare the available hearing aid styles

Start out by using the overview below to understand the differences between each type of hearing aid. The overview will prepare you for Step 2 of the guide, where we will explain the 6 important factors that you should consider when choosing hearing aids.

Step 2. Consider these six factors when choosing a hearing aid

In this step we will describe 6 different factors that you should consider when choosing the best hearing aid for you.

  1. Your level of hearing loss

  2. Comfort 

  3. Price and quality

  4. Style

  5. Your level of social engagement

  6. Hearing aid technology

Factor 1 - Your level of hearing loss

The severity of your hearing loss has an impact on the types of hearing aids that you can choose from. Therefore, getting your hearing tested and knowing your level of hearing loss will help you to understand what hearing aid types will be best suited to accommodate your needs.

In order to know your level of hearing loss, we advise you to book a free hearing test in one of our hearing clinics near you. The consultation, which includes a 15-minute hearing test, takes about an hour total, and they will review and explain an audiogram of your hearing. After reviewing your results, they will discuss your options so that you can find the best hearing aid to suit your needs.

Factor 2 - Hearing aid technology

Today’s advanced technology provides a more natural sound experience by allowing you to experience an open, 360-degree sound experience, all while providing higher sound clarity with less effort. Tinnitus support settings are also new features which benefit users. Hearing aids today can also reduce feedback (or the “whistling sound” that some hearing aid users can experience). It is also possible to connect modern hearing aids to your smart devices and TV, so that you can hear your smart device and/or TV sounds directly through your hearing aids.

Factor 3 - Comfort 

When you’re looking for the best hearing aids for you, it’s important to consider how comfortable they will be for you to wear.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids
What characterizes behind-the-ear hearing aids?

  • The main body of the hearing aids is placed behind the ear

  • Has a clear tube or wire connecting it to an earmold or dome placed inside the ear canal

  • The earmold portion can be made of different materials

  • Most people find behind-the-ear styles to be more comfortable than in-the-ear styles


In-the-ear hearing aids

  • What characterizes in-the-ear hearing aids?

  • It is custom-made to fit the shape of your ear canal 

  • Is made of a hard material that sits inside the ear canal

  • The size and shape of your ear canal determines if it is possible for you to have in-the-ear hearing aids


Factor 4 - Price and quality

The price of your hearing aid can depend on the number of benefits you are hoping to get out of your new hearing aid. Such benefits can include automatic volume adjustment and wireless connectivity. Depending on your needs, these additional benefits can have a noticeable impact on the overall experience. Read further to read more about the benefits provided by hearing aids today.

Factor 5 - Style

Some appearance factors to consider are:

Size
Is long battery life or discreetness the most important thing to you? 
Larger hearing aids (behind-the-ear or full-shell in-the-ear hearing aids) could be the best hearing aid for you if you are looking for larger batteries with high-tech capabilities and a longer battery life while small, in-the-ear hearing aids could be the solution for someone with mild to moderate hearing loss who is most interested in discreet, nearly invisible hearing aids.

Color
Did you know that hearing aids are available in different colors? You have the option of finding hearing aids that blend in well with your skin tone – or just choosing a color that appeals to you.

Ear canal shape determines hearing aid size
The shape of your ear canal can also have an influence on the best hearing aid for you; since in-the-ear hearing aids are placed in the ear canal, a mold of your ear canal is taken, and the hearing aids are personalized to your unique ear canal shape.

Factor 6 - Your level of social engagement

Whether you enjoy spending time at home or out of the house at restaurants or social events, the best hearing aid for you will be one that matches your level of social engagement. The more active you are socially, the more “advanced features” you may want to look out for, and the less socially engaged you are, the more basic your hearing aids may be.

For the highly socially engaged: 
If you travel frequently, attend live entertainment, regularly give presentations, or attend social events, the best solution for you will be one that can automatically adjust to the sound environment. Modern hearing aids can be programmed to adjust the volume based on your environment. 
Those who have a high level of social engagement will want to consider:

  • Automatic sound adjustments

  • 360-degree sound

  • BrainHearing technology™ by Oticon

  • Wireless connectivity

  • TV connectivity

Since your social activities will have you changing sound environments more frequently, getting hearing aids with this automatic adjustment feature would be ideal. Wireless connectivity will also allow you to connect your hearing aids directly to your phone or tablet while on the go.

For the moderately socially engaged:
If you occasionally participate in social events, meetings, and/or outdoor physical activities, the best hearing aid for you will be one with certain advanced features (such as automatic adjustment and 360-degree sound). 

Those who are moderately socially engaged will want to consider:

  • Automatic sound adjustments

  • 360-degree sound

  • BrainHearing technology™ by Oticon

  • Wireless connectivity

  • TV connectivity


For the lightly socially engaged:
If your everyday social activities take place in a relatively quiet environment (or if you attend relatively few social activities), you most likely will not require some of the high-tech features that hearing aids can offer (such as automatic sound adjustment).    

Those with a low level of social engagement will want to consider:

  • Basic hearing aid offerings

  • TV connectivity


Step 3. Trial hearing aids for free at a hearing clinic  

The knowledge that you have obtained in this guide can help you understand the most important factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid 

The next steps in the process are the following:

  1. Book a hearing test at a hearing clinic

  2. Discuss your preferences and any questions you might have with your hearing care expert

  3. Trial a hearing aid for free – with the opportunity of trying another model if the first model does not suit your needs  

  4. Take the hearing aids home and wear them as a part of your everyday routine to determine if they are the right hearing aids for you 


Make an appointment with a certified hearing care expert, who can help you understand how you get the: 

  • Best sound quality 
  • Best value for your money