Hearing loss is one of the most common health changes in older people, but it doesn’t happen just to senior citizens. Talking to your audiologist or hearing specialist about a hearing device can be overwhelming because there is so much to process. Here are some of the things to consider when you’re ready to choose a hearing device.
Understand Your Needs
What exactly are you having problems hearing? You should articulate the problems you’re having with your doctor, whether it’s the phone or television. Another consideration is your lifestyle. If you exercise or get sweaty from work, your hearing aid needs to be water resistant and able to stay in your ear under harsher circumstances than just hanging around your home. A good starting point is to take a free hearing check online.
Technology and Controls
If you enjoy portable devices or talking on the phone, hands-free models of hearing devices work with a remote control or even your smartphone. If you want that technology, you will need to discuss those options with your audiologist. Not everyone is comfortable using the advanced technology or even has a smartphone, so make sure you find the solution that fits your lifestyle.
Not all insurance plans cover the full cost of a hearing device. It’s understandable that your budget will be a concern when purchasing a hearing aid. There are many different price ranges, so work with your doctor to find one that fits your needs. Financing can also be available.
You should remember that your device is an investment in your health, which means that the long term benefits may outweigh short term financial constraints. Also, consider the full value of the services received. Whereas some clinics may charge less initially, other clinics offer comprehensive follow-up care
Work With Your Doctor/Hearing Specialist
Certain devices may be more appropriate for your condition, and your doctor will help steer you to the right one. With so many different sizes, you can find one that works for you. The CIC (completely-in-the-canal) or mini CIC is the most discrete hearing device, but it does have smaller batteries which means it has a shorter life. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is a custom fit device and less visible than larger styles, but because it is smaller it can be difficult to adjust.
The in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid has more features because it is a bit larger than the CIC or ITC, but it may pick up wind noise that the others don’t. The ITE uses a larger battery, for a longer life, and it fits behind the ear, making it less discrete.
Your Hearing Can Have a New Chapter
While your level of your hearing loss will be a big factor in which device works for you, it doesn't have to be a life impairing disability. It’s important to work with your doctor, take the time to understand all your options, and find the device that fits you and the activities you enjoy in daily life. Ultimately, the goal of your device is to help you get more out of life!