A diagnosis of hearing loss can be unsettling – but hearing aids have come a long way from the bulky instruments of the past! Today’s digital devices are smaller and more comfortable than ever, and deliver excellent sound quality. They are packed with features and options, giving the patient a variety of choices but also making it difficult to pick the right one. When comparing hearing aids, there are several key points that should factor into your decision.
Your degree of hearing loss is a key consideration. This is calculated in decibels, with levels ranging from normal (-10 to 15 dB) to profound (91+ dB). Conductive hearing loss affects low frequency sounds, and sensorineural hearing loss affects higher frequencies. Because hearing aids target different frequency losses, you’ll need to find one that will help restore your lost frequency.
Functionality is equally important. Hearing aids today come with an impressive array of options, but not all of them will be necessary to help you hear better. Choose which features will benefit you most (e.g. directional microphones, feedback suppression, digital noise reduction, Bluetooth connectivity) and choose those that you feel give you the best chance of improving your ability to communicate.
Many people consider cosmetic appeal an important factor in choosing a hearing aid. Since this is something you’ll be wearing every day, it makes sense; you’ll want a device that is not only comfortable to wear, but that makes you feel confident, as well.
Finally, consider your lifestyle needs. Different styles of hearing aids will appeal to those who lead quiet lives, versus those who are active and go out a lot.
Your audiologist can help you navigate the tricky waters of hearing aid selection. If you’ve got any questions, give our office a call. We’re happy to give you a guiding hand!