Have you found that it’s becoming increasingly harder to follow conversations in recent years—especially in large groups? This often is one of the first and most pressing signs that it’s time to act around a hearing loss. Many put off dealing with hearing loss for years, contributing to issues in relationships, social isolation, chronic depression and even cognitive decline.
While hearing loss is irreversible, it and accompanying symptoms can be reduced and treated with the use of hearing aids. Today hearing aids lead the way in computer miniaturization with increased amplification and more features in improving the quality of your life, than ever before. However, with so many options in the hearing aid market currently, it can feel overwhelming to know which hearing aids may be the right fit for you. Fortunately, we have compiled some tips to make the process less stressful. You may even have fun!
How Hearing Aids Work
All hearing aids essentially use the same basic parts to carry sounds from your environment into your ear canal where they are amplified. In digital hearing aids, which has now taken over the market, tiny microphones collect sounds, a computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. The hearing aid’s micro processing power then analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss programing. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers, often referred to as receivers.
Discover which Style is Right For You
There are several styles of hearing aids. The larger the body, the larger the battery, which means more power for those who require more amplification. Based on your hearing assessment and cross referenced with your lifestyle needs, we will be able to help you navigate between the five categories of hearing aids including: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), in-the-canal (ITC) and CROS/BiCROS.
Discover Added Features
One thing that sets today’s hearing aids from others are the wide range of options now available to enhance hearing in specific settings. Which one are right for you in part depends on what you want out of hearing, your lifestyle and your budget. Popular features include:
Noise reduction. One of the most common complaints of hearing with hearing aids is interference of surrounding noise. Now thanks to noise reduction features, you don’t have to worry as much. If you are the outdoors type, some hearing aids can even minimize wind sounds.
Directional microphones. Another challenge for people with hearing aids is hearing in a crowd of people. Directional microphones most often point forward, allowing you to prioritize the voice of the person you are facing, making it easier to single out that voice so you can follow more intently.
Rechargeable batteries. Hearing aids of the past commonly needed to have their battery changed every three to five days. The worst would be when you ran out of power when out of the house unexpectedly. Today, rechargeable batteries are becoming the standard, allowing you to charge the battery overnight and be able to listen without a second thought all day long.
Telecoils. This technology is for hearing public announcements, performance, and features when it may be a challenge. Most public spaces such as concert halls, auditoriums, banks, public transit stations and more have telecoils set up as an accessibility feature. When you switch the T coil setting on you device to on, you can stream the audio with no interruption directly to your hearing aids.
Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth compatibility is becoming a standard of hearing aids, allowing you to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, stereo and more. You may even be able to adjust settings via a Bluetooth app on your phone.
Before you buy
There are many over the counter hearing aids available today. However, getting hearing aids without professional recommendation can become a waste of money. Without a proper hearing exam and an idea of what you use hearing aids for and what your listening behavior consists of you may not get the best pair of programs for you. We recommend getting a checkup before you invest in hearing aids. Ideally they should be worn, from the moment you wake till you rest again, meaning that you are going to be spending a lot of time with them. Contact us to set up a hearing exam and consultation today and get the most out of your hearing aids.