The Top 7 Things To Consider When Purchasing Hearing Aids
Whether you are looking to buy your first hearing aid, or if it’s time to upgrade to a new one, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide which model is right for you. Between BTE (behind the ear), ITC (in the canal) and RITE (receiver in the ear) models, functions differ according to hearing loss types.
So, if you are looking to purchase either one or two hearing aids, here are some of our top considerations to help you make the best choice.
When you first think of a hearing aid, you probably picture the old school ones that sit over the ear in a bulky fashion. While this style still exists, it’s now possible to purchase a hearing aid that is much more discreet. Some are worn directly in the ear canal with different sized hearing aid domes to fit each ear, others are molded to your ear shape (to look almost like an earplug), and there’s also hearing aids that cup the ear, either with the receiver in the ear or behind it.
While wearing a hearing aid can be tough to get used to, having the option to choose the style that best suits your hearing loss not to mention lifestyle, means it’s not as daunting as it once was. There are companies that even personalize the look of hearing aids, some of them who have created hearing aids with superheroes on them for kids! So, whatever style of hearing aid would best suit your personality, there’s a model out there for you.
Your Specific Hearing Loss
When you head to the optician for a new pair of glasses, the prescription you require will be tailored to your own eyesight. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach, as each customer will have a different range of vision not to mention specific problems.
Choosing a hearing aid follows this exact same principle, in that no two ears at the same. Therefore, it’s important to select a hearing aid that will help you with the level and type of hearing loss you are experiencing.
There are so many prominent features of a hearing aid you can select. For example, picking up on softer sounds that are too faint for you to hear properly. Or, you can look for a hearing aid that enhances the sound of speech if you struggle in conversation. The key is to identify what sounds you are most lacking in, so you can pick a model that specializes in exactly what you need.
While the aim of a hearing aid is to boost the noise so you are better able to hear, not all noise is helpful. For example, if you struggle to hear a conversation in a crowded room where many people are talking, you would, in fact, benefit from a hearing aid that offers background noise reduction.
Each hearing aid manufacturer is going to offer a different level of noise reduction. Why that’s one of our top considerations, is because some can also reduce the noise of speech as well as the background noise.
If you want the ability to be able to connect with phones or loop systems, then you should consider getting a hearing aid that features a telecoil. Although telecoils consist of small copper wires, they are in fact too large to be featured within some styles of hearing aids.
Telecoils are most suited to those with profound hearing loss, or those who spend a lot of time using loop systems (if you are not sure where they are located, this website is excellent). They do however require some user intervention, so aren’t the best feature to look out for if you want a completely hassle-free hearing aid.
Also, when not used a loop system or a phone that is compatible, telecoils will not improve your hearing. Therefore, your considering should be whether you plan on using a loop system or telecoil compatible phone. Otherwise, you could be paying for a feature you don’t need, and it could restrict the size and shape of the hearing aid you are able to use.
Another consideration you should make when purchasing your hearing aid is whether it’s smartphone compatible (Verizon has a list of hearing aid compatible phone in case you are unsure). That’s because if you are looking to make use of the features available to those with hearing loss, or even stream calls and music directly to your hearing aid – you’ll need to make sure both your hearing aid and smartphone are capable of this.
Some smartphones can even adjust the sound level of your hearing aid, making it a really great tool to have. Check before you buy to avoid any disappointment, as not all hearing aids are compatible. Likewise, if the hearing aid is for someone who doesn’t have a smartphone (such as an elderly relative), then you could be wasting your money.
Tinnitus Masking: which hearing aid is best for tinnitus?
A common question among individuals suffering from it is, “will a hearing aid help tinnitus?”
The answer is yes! Many do.
If you suffer from ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing aids can help provide relief. Wearing a hearing aid in each ear, have been shown to be particularly effective in reducing symptoms.
Many hearing aid models are equipped with tinnitus masking features, blocking frequencies that are known to cause tinnitus and ringing in the ears. In fact, many people that experience tinnitus choose to wear hearing aids even if they don’t have a hearing loss.
We recommend HearGift’s V7 tinnitus hearing aid model that has a tinnitus specific mode that can be used even without sound amplification.
Where To Buy Your Hearing Aid
Traditionally, hearing aids have been only available for purchase through audiologists. Speaking to your audiologist is always advised in order to better understand the options available and the best solution for you. Many countries, however, are now starting to offer hearing aids over the counter (OTC). This avenue is best for individuals that are simply looking to just hearing better and not want to spend thousands on hearing aids. Products like HearGift are just that: affordable hearing aids for individuals that just want to hear better without spending money on bells and whistles.
When it comes to buying a hearing aid, you need to factor in the level of hearing loss you are experiencing, as well as any specific features you need. No two hearing aids are built equal, and so it’s important to find the right hearing aid to suit you.
If you’ve previously had a difficult time with your hearing aid, the good news is that there are now many styles to choose from, meaning you don’t have to put up with a low-quality device, or even one which makes you feel self-conscious because it’s not discreet.
By taking some time to research your hearing aid before you purchase, you can make the best decision to maximise your hearing ability and overall experience.