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Hearing aids come in a variety of styles with several different technology options. How do you know which is right for you?
Some hearing aids fit inside your external ear canal, while others go behind your ear. Regardless of where the actual hearing aid is placed, all hearing aids are built to amplify sounds. The type of hearing aid that might be right for you will depend on several factors, including the severity of your hearing loss, whether your hearing loss is high frequency (a woman's voice) or low frequency (a man's voices), your ear anatomy, lifestyle needs, how well you can manipulate the hearing aid with your hands, and cost.
Consider the following list as highly recommended suggestions to guide your decision making in order for you to be satisfied with your purchase:
- Don't procrastinate having your hearing evaluated by a qualified audiologist. An audiogram, performed in a sound proof booth will help tell the type and degree of hearing loss and if you would benefit from hearing aids or not. The earlier hearing loss is treated, the better. The worse your hearing loss is when you seek help, the more difficult it will be for your brain to adjust.
- Although you may see an ad in the paper for a "free hearing screening" by a "hearing instrument specialist" or hearing aid dealer, an audiologist (AuD or MA-CCCA) is much better qualified in treating hearing loss. An audiologist is much more than just a dispenser of hearing aids and provides full service hearing care.
- Never commit to a purchase of hearing aids without first wearing the hearing aids, allowing your audiologist to make needed adjustments to ensure the positive difference they will make in your life.
- Determine which hearing aid features and accessories are right for you and your lifestyle. Today's digital hearing aids are like very small computers and come with many options, but these options add cost to the hearing aid. Some options include directional microphones, feedback cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity, which may or may not be helpful features for you.
- Keep your follow-up visits. Your audiologist will ensure your hearing aids are in optimal working order to meet your needs and will make any necessary adjustments.