2 Important Considerations When Selecting a Hearing Aid
With the number of hearing aids available on the market today, it can feel overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. If you’re consulting with an audiologist, you’ll receive expert advice and guidance for this important decision, but it’s ultimately up to you. To help, here is some advice about two key choices you’ll need to consider as you begin the hearing aid selection process.
1. Choose the right size
Hearing aids used to only come in standard behind-the-ear (BTE) styles, but today your choices range from the tiniest complete-in-the-canal (CIC) models to the largest BTEs.
An important thing to note about size is that it not only impacts aesthetics (if you’re conscientious about wearing a hearing aid, you may want something small and invisible), but also performance. Smaller hearing aids aren’t large enough to handle more complex features, while larger models with a case that sits behind the ear allow the maximum space for advanced settings. In other words, if you need advanced features, you should probably choose a larger model of hearing aid.
Secondly, smaller hearing aids have tiny batteries and parts that are harder to handle, so if you have poor dexterity, you may have an easier time handling a larger model multiple times a day.
Ultimately, choose the size that’s right for you based on both appearance, performance, and your lifestyle for the greatest long-term satisfaction.
2. Choose the right fit
Size impacts fit, but there are options on how the hearing aid fits in or around your ear. There are hearing aids that fit partially in the outer ear or completely fill it; others sit behind the ear and connect to the ear canal with a small tube.
Most smaller hearing aids are closed-fit; that is, they’re fit precisely to prevent air from getting around them and into your ear canal. This design prevents interference, but some people find the plugged-up sensation and the way it alters their voice difficult to adjust to. Open-fit hearing aids (a type of BTE style) allow air and low-frequency sounds to flow freely around the hearing aid for a more natural listening experience and comfort level.
Choose the fit that is most comfortable as well as the most advantageous to your hearing needs. This is where the advice of an audiologist truly comes into play.
Deciding which hearing aid to purchase is an important decision that will impact every aspect of your daily life for years to come, so consider– and with the help of an audiologist.