If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, you’ve probably started looking into getting a set of hearing aids. You may also have realized that there are a range of styles and models available from a number of manufacturers, which can make the selection process seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you have an expert audiologist who can help you choose the perfect hearing aid for your lifestyle.
Below we review the steps for getting the perfect hearing aid.
Get a Hearing Test
If you haven’t already, the first step before getting a hearing aid is to get a hearing test. A full audiological evaluation may include a combination of the following:
- Personal/family history.
- Pure-tone testing.
- Speech testing.
- Middle ear tests.
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR).
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs).
These tests reveal how well your ear and brain are functioning as well as what volume level sounds of various frequencies have to be in order for you to hear them.
The results of your hearing test are then charted on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss.
Lifestyle Needs Assessment
After your hearing test, your audiologist will discuss with you what your lifestyle needs are in order to choose a device that suits you. For example, if you like to attend concerts, conferences, or large religious services, you’ll need a different device than someone who spends most of their time at home or in small group settings like book clubs.
During your lifestyle needs assessment, your audiologist will also discuss what features are available in today’s hearing aids to determine which you would benefit from. Some features include:
- Rechargeable batteries
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Directional microphones
- Wind noise reduction
- Feedback reduction
- Remote controls
- Automatic programming
A person who enjoys hiking or biking at Down East Sunrise Trail or other outdoor activities would benefit from wind noise reduction, and a person who enjoys listening to music or podcasts during their commute would benefit from Bluetooth connectivity.
Why Choose an Audiologist?
While it’s possible to purchase personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) online or at a big box store, these devices are not designed to suit your unique hearing needs. In addition, they don’t come with the expertise that comes from seeing an audiologist.
For more information about choosing a hearing aid or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call Audiology Center of Maine today.