Given that there are different styles and types of hearing aids along with numerous brands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which hearing aids will be right for you. Thankfully, your hearing healthcare professional is going to be the person who can walk you through that decision. The very first step that you will take when you learn that you need hearing aids is talking to your hearing healthcare provider about your needs and your hearing issues. They will then be able to talk you through the options ahead for you, whether you will need behind the ear hearing aids or in the ear canal hearing aids; there’s a difference! Your hearing specialist will be able to test your ears extensively to understand the type of hearing loss that you are dealing with. You’ll then be able to go from there together.
Style: the choice is yours!
Your hearing health professional will discuss your hearing aid options with you based on the results of your hearing test. This could be anything from a mild to profound hearing loss. There are several different styles of hearing aids, including the following popular types:
- Behind the ear (BTE): These devices are worn with a unit behind the ear that is connected to a thin tube and receiver in the ear. This is one of the most popular hearing aid styles because it offers size for numerous features to be equipped and is appropriate for individuals with hearing loss ranging from mild to profound. While slightly larger than other styles, it can be selected in a mini variation, as well as skin and hair tones to help it blend in if you are concerned about privacy.
- In the ear (ITE): Considered mid-sized, ITE devices rest in the outer ear bowl and come in both full and half-shell models. These hearing aids offer the size you want for multiple features, but are slightly more discreet than BTE styles. They can also be ordered in skin and hair tones and are suitable for individuals with mild-to moderately-severe hearing loss.
- In the canal (ITC): One of the more discreet styles of hearing aid, ITC devices are worn in the canal and can vary in privacy options, ranging from those located completely in the canal and even invisible in the canal. Because of their location in the canal they offer a natural listening experience and have fewer feedback issues. They are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, but aren’t suitable for people with dexterity issues as their small size can make them more difficult to handle when cleaning or changing the batteries.
Hearing aids have evolved considerably over the last few decades, allowing them to be equipped with a larger volume of features, as well as being smaller and more discreet than ever before. Your hearing health provider will discuss the best options for your particular needs based on your lifestyle, degree of hearing loss, aesthetic preferences and budget.
You need to be able to hear if you want to be able to be a part of your friendship circles and of society as a whole; don’t underestimate the benefits of wearing hearing aids. It’s also important to remember that there are more than the behind the ear types of hearing aids. There are now more discreet options on the market that sit in the ear canal, which are perfect if you’re worrying about your look.
Features to consider
In addition to the style of hearing aid you select, you also want to consider what kind of hearing aid features you would benefit most from. There are several different features you can equip your hearing aid with that will make your life and experience more enjoyable. The most common features include:
- Bluetooth: With Bluetooth, you can wirelessly and simply connect your hearing aid to other compatible devices in your home. This means you can connect your devices to a speaker, television or even your phone and stream the sound you want to hear directly to your hearing aids.
- Multisettings: With multisettings, you can program your hearing aid to remember multiple sound environments, making it easier for you to go from the hustle and bustle of a restaurant to a quiet office.
- Wind reduction: With wind reduction, your hearing aid will work to block and remove the feedback you experience when in gusty situations. This will help provide a more natural and comfortable listening experience.
Your hearing is important if you want to continue to socialize and avoid isolation in your group of friends and family, and choosing a hearing aid is the first step to ensuring that you remain free in your future.
Choosing your hearing aids is all about what will work for you, so the best thing that you can do is do some research. Talk more with your hearing care provider about the best options for your needs so that you can make the right choice for your hearing and life.