Hearing loss is one of the most common forms of hearing impairment. It’s also one that’s hard to detect and diagnose. The condition can happen gradually or suddenly, and it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. If you suspect that you might be at risk for hearing loss, you should see an audiologist as soon as possible. That’s because a hearing test isn’t always necessary to assess your hearing health. Instead, the tests are there to determine if you need a hearing aid or other specialized devices in order to hear clearly again.
With so many options available — and so many noise-canceling headphones on the market — choosing the right pair of hearing aids can be daunting for both audiophiles and novices alike. For that reason, we’ve compiled this guide with more than 6 important factors to consider when buying your first set of hearing aids.
1. How old is your hearing loss?
This is a very important question to ask your audiologist. The reason why is that it will help her determine the best treatment plan for you. If your hearing loss was caused by injury — say, some kind of blast to the ear — then you might be able to recover the lost hearing with treatment. If your hearing loss is due to biology — like an ear infection, chronic earwax buildup, or otosclerosis — then it can’t be treated.
Unfortunately, many hearing aid users don’t have their hearing loss diagnosed correctly. This leads to frustration and ongoing treatment issues. Some hearing aid users are lucky enough to have their hearing loss diagnosed by an audiologist. However, most people have to undergo some sort of clinical hearing test to get an accurate diagnosis. Yet, this process is often delayed for months or even years.
2. Ability to wear hearing aids comfortably
This is a big one. You should be able to easily — and comfortably — put on your hearing aids every day. If you struggle with this, then you might find yourself tugging at your ears or pulling your hair to try to get your ears into the right position — or you might simply give up and not wear your aids. Either way, it will negatively impact your quality of life. Other factors to consider when choosing a pair of hearing aids include where they sit on your ears, their bulkiness, and their weight.
3. Type of hearing loss and its severity
You’ll need to consider the type of loss that you have. If you have mild hearing loss, you might be able to get by with a pair of hearing aids that simply amplify sound. Likewise, if you have a significant loss, you’ll need to look for a pair of aids that are programmed to filter out certain frequencies.
4. Deciding between digital and analog hearing aids
Finally, you’ll also want to decide between digital and analog hearing aids. Analog hearing aids have been around for decades. They are still effective and cause very little discomfort. Digital hearing aid performance, on the other hand, are newer technologies that are becoming more and more popular. These hearing aids provide a better quality of sound than analog hearing aids, but they can also be more difficult to use. Digital hearing aids have several advantages over analog hearing aids. They include being more effective, easier to use and providing better clarity.
5. Or else, why do you need a pair of hearing aids in the first place
There are many ways in which hearing aids can improve your quality of life. They can help you understand conversations in crowded places, such as public transportation or at a family gathering. They can also help you hear 911 dispatchers when you’re in danger. Hearing aids can also help people with hearing loss read. This is especially helpful for people in the arts, such as singers, musicians, and public speakers. Hearing aids can also help people with hearing loss enjoy music and sports again. That’s because hearing aids can filter out distracting sounds, making it easier to focus on what you love.
6. Features of a top-rated pair of hearing aids
When it comes to choosing the right hearing aids, it’s important to consider a number of factors. These include the type of hearing loss that you have and the treatment plan that your audiologist recommends. Your audiologist will also help you choose between digital and analog hearing aids. In addition, he or she will evaluate your hearing loss and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Finally, your audiologist will help you choose a pair of hearing aids in Kittery that are comfortable to wear and that provide good sound quality.
Hearing loss can affect anyone. But the sooner you get it checked out the sooner you can get the help that you need. And, most importantly, the sooner you can hear again clearly. That’s why it’s important to get your hearing tested as soon as you notice that you’re having difficulty hearing. And, when you do, make sure you ask your audiologist about hearing aids. They can help you hear again.