Most of us can remember the aids used by our friends and family members in the past. Some of these were large and clunky, and others required a lot of manual dexterity to insert, adjust, and change the batteries.
The good news is that technology is rapidly outpacing our assumptions about the features of hearing aids. New models are released every day with technology to adapt to a rapidly changing sonic environment. Just as our world takes on new sounds and hearing environments, assistive technology steps in with new features and capabilities.
We understand that the vast array of hearing aids available today can be overwhelming. But a few simple questions will help you take stock of your own hearing needs. It is a good idea to ask yourself these questions before your hearing test and appointment with an audiologist or hearing specialist so that you can choose the hearing aids that will best fit your needs.
In what situations are you finding it hardest to hear?
Hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Each of us loses sensitivity to sound differently. Some of us might struggle to hear voices in noisy environments. Others of us notice that certain types of sound, from high to low, or frequencies, are missing from our hearing.
Take a moment to remember the time you most recently noticed your hearing loss. This might help your hearing professional decide which kind of hearing aid to recommend.
What do you like to do more of?
If you have a very active lifestyle, you may need a different hearing aid that can withstand the demands of motion and moisture in and around the ears.
Others of us experience leisure in restaurants or bars where the din of noise can be challenging to hear. Still, others of us would like to hear music, movies, or television more clearly. Knowing the activities that make you happy will be essential to form a safe space of comfortable hearing.
What are you missing in your job?
Some of us have been wearing hearing protection on the job for a long time. We may be exposed to loud, noisy, or repetitive sounds that could be damaging. Hearing assistance can go alongside protection in these workplace environments.
Others spend a lot of time on the phone and need aids that are particularly suited to telephone conversations, which can translate easily into face-to-face conversations.
How is your manual dexterity?
A commonly reported struggle with some hearing aids is the inability to easily handle them. Taking them in and out and adjusting the volume or changing the batteries on some aids can be difficult for those with compromised manual dexterity.
Take a moment to consider the last time you had to work with a small object. If it was a challenge, your audiologist could use this information to help you select a suitable model.
What features are you looking for?
As you might imagine, the latest hearing aids come with new features that can enhance our lives. Yet, some of these features may not be useful to you and even maybe a bit confusing.
Some of the new features of hearing aids include Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeable batteries, and connecting directly with television, radio, and smartphones. While these new features may be exciting to some, they are not helpful to others.
In some cases, new features can also be a tradeoff with the affordability of the device, so be sure to consider what kinds of features you would like before embarking on the path toward assistive technology.
Of course, the most important tip for selecting hearing aids is to take that step toward professional help! Scheduling a hearing test is usually the first task. Schedule an appointment today and be on your way to finding the proper hearing assistance! Our team is skilled at helping you know the range of your options and which will best suit your lifestyle, needs, and personal taste.