Communication Matters

How to Choose a Hearing Aid

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on May 30, 2018

HA fittingWhen choosing the technology that goes into a hearing aid, you may think the most important consideration is your hearing loss. Although your degree of hearing loss is a significant factor, your lifestyle is also plays a critical role.

Two people can have exactly the same type and degree of hearing loss, but because they live very different lifestyles, an audiologist may not recommend the exact same hearing aid. When deciding which features, or level of technology, are most appropriate for you, consider these factors:

• How many different listening environments am I in over the course of a week?
• Do I spend most of my time at home?
• Do I go out to restaurants frequently?
• Do I attend group meetings?
• Do I go to the theater or orchestra frequently?
• Do I want the hearing aid to make adjustments automatically, or do I want to control the hearing aid?

Hearing aids may have different features to reduce background noise, assist with hearing over a telephone, or filter out continuous background sounds. Generally, the more expensive the hearing aid, the more features the hearing aid has and the more sophisticated the technology will be. For example, a more expensive hearing aid would better reduce background noise. When choosing hearing aids, think about your lifestyle and the different listening environments you are in on a daily basis.

If you lead an ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need the BEST performance from hearing aids. An active lifestyle may include dining in a busy restaurant frequently; attending large family functions regularly; being active in meetings and groups; leading a busy life indoors and outdoors. If this is how you would describe your lifestyle you need the BEST performing hearing aids and you may be most happy with PREMIUM hearing aids whose features include:

• Automatic adjustment to many different listening environments
• Most effective at reducing background noise
• Best performance in noisy places
• Advanced telephone capabilities
• Great for listening to music
• Bluetooth-compatible

If you lead a MODERATELY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need BETTER performance from hearing aids.
A MODERATELY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE might include attending group meetings frequently, regularly attend small family gatherings, and infrequently dine in busy restaurants. If this is how you would describe your lifestyle, you need BETTER performance from hearing aids and may be best helped by ADVANCED hearing aids whose features include:

• Automatic adjustment to some listening environment
• Effective at reducing background noise
• Equally suited for both quiet and noisy places
• May be Bluetooth-compatible

If you lead a LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need GOOD performance from hearing aids. A LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE may include spending most of your time in quiet environments (talking to one or two people, watching TV, etc.), occasionally attending small meetings, and are rarely in group situations. If this describes your lifestyle, you will need GOOD performance from hearing aids and may be best suited for BASIC hearing aids whose features may include:

• Automatic or manual adjustment to limited listening environments
• Best suited for quiet places but can be used in some noisy places
• Most affordable

It is important to talk with your audiologist about your lifestyle before choosing hearing aids so you select the product that will best meet your needs.

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