7 questions to ask yourself before buying a hearing aid
According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss. While some prefer to show off their new hearing device, others prefer that it doesn’t attract too much attention. That all depends on who you are! With hearing aids, it’s like any other piece you wear on your body, and you can choose your style, color and size (depending on your specific hearing loss). So, think about what you would like your hearing aid to say about you, or if you don’t want it to say anything at all.
Prefer a night out at a restaurant, or fancy watching TV at home? Lifestyles are so different, and that’s why hearing aids are too. If you prefer to go out, you’ll be exposed to a lot of background noise, which is often where people have most problems hearing conversation. So, make sure you get a hearing aid that diminishes background noise and enhances speech. Maybe that’s not so important if you’re more prone to staying in, quietly reading a book or having a conversation over tea with a friend.
Basic digital hearing aids also generally require you to make some manual adjustments in certain listening situations such as turning a volume control up or down, or pushing a button on the aids to reduce noise coming from behind.
If you’re an avid smartphone user, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Bluetooth hearing aids that are made for connectivity. Many hearing aids today offer Bluetooth 2.4GHz connectivity (Made for iPhone) that will connect your iOS devices (Apple products) directly to your hearing aids. A solution for streaming directly from Android phones is also in the making, with hopes of it coming in 2019. Until then, you’ll have to use an assistive devices to listen your Android phone with the stream, and the same goes for TV or radio. In any case, you’re able to control the audio streaming through your phone if you have 2.4GHz connectivity.
Hearing aids today can do so much more than simply amplify sound. In fact, you can get apps for your smartphone that will help you personalize your listening experience through Artificial Intelligence, or track your activity level, for instance. These kinds of features are usually managed through your smartphone. So, if you have one, and you like using it, this could be a great way to get even more features available to you on top of the automatic sound features, which vary from hearing aid to hearing aid.
Loud sounds are not usually hard for any of us to hear, but the softer sounds like birds chirping, the rustling of a newspaper or maybe even the soft voices of small children sometimes reduce in volume when you have hearing loss. They can even disappear completely! If you miss them, there’s no doubt you should find a hearing aid with good capacity for those soft, ambient sounds.
There’s a big difference between working at a construction site or in a theatre or an office. That said, your office could be a noisy one! Think about how your work situation is: do you need a hearing aid that reduces unwanted background noise substantially? Do you need one that captures soft sounds, or has a good handle on acoustics at big venues?
Are you active in sports, or do you often host large lectures, go to religious services or sail on the sea? Whatever your important listening moments are, make sure you capture them with your hearing aid. Some hearing aids will offer features that are great for sports; others may be better for concerts. And some hearing aids can almost do it all! Just make sure that your new hearing aids can give you the best possible support in your favorite moment.
Your lifestyle and the listening environments you frequent most have a great effect on what hearing aid will be ideal for you. Which hearing aid fits your lifestyle best?
Today’s hearing aids are comfortable, discreet and offer a variety of features. There’s a hearing aid out there for everyone. How can you choose the hearing aid that’s right for you? By examining your unique requirements, you and your hearing care professional can determine the best fit for your needs.
You’re active and need to communicate with many people throughout the day. You spend time in loud and complex environments like noisy restaurants, sporting events or concerts.
Communicating in small groups and participating in social gatherings is important to you. You enjoy activities like shopping or going to the theater.
Most of your time is spent at home or in a quiet environment, but you need to be able to hear in one-on-one settings.
You might enjoy going to a concert or going out dining with your friends or family. Or you might prefer going to the fitness center or running in the forest while streaming your favorite music straight to your hearing aids. No matter where your day takes you, you can rest assure, your hearing aids will adapt to your routine and hobbies.
Being able to relax and enjoy entertainment with others is important to you. You want to be able to stream TV, music, videos and more directly to your hearing aids.
You’d like to use an app to discreetly adjust your hearing aid settings at any time.
Feedback management systems combat the inevitable feedback (whistling) that occurs in a hearing aid. These feedback loops create an annoying whistling sound that can get in the way of your comfort. Feedback management algorithms can be implemented differently for basic hearing aids or advanced hearing aids. Basic feedback management systems may reduce the overall amplification to remove the whistling. Advanced feedback management systems reduce or eliminate whistling without affecting overall amplification of the hearing aid.
A hearing care professional gives you personalized hearing care, including:
Testing for hearing loss
Assisting you with selecting hearing aids
Fitting hearing aids to your unique requirements
Guiding you with all matters of hearing aid maintenance and support