3 Factors to Consider When Selecting Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are capable of truly transforming a person’s quality of life, offering multiple benefits to both their physical and emotional well-being. However, to access these benefits, it is critical that people find the correct hearing aid for their specific circumstances. With a variety of different models available, narrowing down the available options and selecting the device that is most suitable for you involves careful consideration of a number of factors:
The first factor to keep in mind is the style of hearing aid that you may prefer. There are three main styles to choose from:
- Behind the ear (BTE): The receiver sits behind the ear; the amplifier sits at the front of the ear, close to the ear canal, with the two components connected via a plastic tube. BTE devices are the largest type of hearing aid and are thus the most powerful; they are suitable for those with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
- In the ear (ITE): This type of hearing aid is a single device that contains all of the components required to deliver amplification to the user; the device then sits in the bowl of the ear. ITE devices are more discreet than BTE options while still being suitable for those with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
- In the canal (ITC): Similar to ITE hearing aids, ITC devices have all components stored within a single unit. However, rather than sitting in the bowl of the ear, the unit sits within the ear canal; this makes ITC devices one of the most discreet options, and most are suitable for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids are designed primarily to provide amplification in order to treat hearing loss, but there are a number of other features available that can be hugely beneficial to your listening experience. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular features that you may want to consider:
- Tinnitus masking
- Wind noise reduction
- Feedback reduction
- Bluetooth or wireless connectivity
- FM compatibility
3. Dexterity issues
For those with dexterity concerns, the usability of their device is an essential factor to keep in mind when choosing their hearing aid. When using your hearing aid, you will need to be able to handle the device confidently – for example, you will need to change the battery regularly, or may need to alter the volume settings. It is vital to choose a device that you can handle comfortably on a day-to-day basis.
It is important to note that all the factors above should always be considered along with your audiologist’s professional opinion. Your audiologist will be able to combine your personal preferences regarding the factors above, along with their own knowledge of your hearing loss, to ensure you can find hearing aids that are absolutely perfectly suited to you.