Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss by an audiologist? If so, the next step is to select a hearing aid. But with so many manufacturers, styles and features on the market today, choosing the right hearing aid for your lifestyle can seem tricky. Fortunately, you can rely on the expertise of your audiologist during this process.
The hearing aid selection process happens in three steps. First, your audiologist will conduct a lifestyle needs assessment. Second, the results of your hearing test are used to determine what style of hearing aid you’ll wear. Third, your audiologist will recommend a device that has all the features you want and need.
1. Lifestyle Needs Assessment
During the lifestyle needs assessment, your audiologist will ask you what activities you participate in, such as:
- Quiet at-home activities
- One-on-one conversations
- Small group conversations
- Business meetings
- Outdoor activities
- Dining out at Provender Kitchen + Bar
- Conferences/large gatherings
The more complex listening situations you find yourself in, the higher level of technology you’ll need in order to hear well.
2. Hearing Aid Styles
Your type and degree of hearing loss, as well as your aesthetic preferences, will be taken in to account when picking out a style of hearing aid for you. Some common styles include:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE). BTEs are suitable for a wide range of hearing losses, from mild to profound. They are often recommended for children, as the earmold can easily be replaced as your child grows.
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC) and Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE). RICs and RITEs are also suitable for a wide range of hearing losses, and they let low-frequency sounds in more naturally.
- In-the-ear (ITE). ITEs, also known as low-profile hearing aids, are ideal for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Their large size makes them good for people with dexterity issues.
- In-the-canal (ITC). ITCs work for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC). IICs and CICs are also suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and are the most discreet models.
- Open-fit. Open-fit hearing aids are great for people with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.
3. Hearing Aid Features
Your audiologist will recommend a model of hearing aid that has features that match with your lifestyle needs. Today’s hearing aids boast features such as:
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Smartphone compatibility.
- Directional microphones.
- Background noise reduction.
- Data logging.
- Tinnitus masking.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Audiology Center of Maine today.