Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors and vary widely in terms of features. It can be overwhelming to think about choosing a device that’s just right all on your own; fortunately, you don’t have to. An expert audiologist can walk with you every step of the way to help you determine the perfect hearing aid for your unique hearing and lifestyle needs.
Below we review the steps audiologists take to ensure the perfect fit.
The first step in getting a hearing aid is to have your hearing tested. Hearing tests are painless, non-invasive and relatively quick. Types of hearing tests include:
- Pure-tone testing.
- Speech testing.
- Tests of the middle ear.
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR).
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs).
You may undergo just one or a combination of these tests.
Hearing tests measure how loud sounds have to be for you to hear them at various frequencies. You may be able to hear low-frequency sounds just fine but have difficulty with higher frequencies. Your hearing may also be different in each ear.
The results of your hearing test will be charted on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss.
Selecting a Style
Based on the results of your hearing test, your audiologist will then recommend a hearing aid style for you. Different styles offer different benefits.
- Completely-in-canal and invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids are the smallest, most discreet options.
- In-the-canal hearing aids are slightly larger and more visible but offer longer battery life.
- In-the-ear hearing aids are best suited for people with dexterity issues due to their size.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids are the most versatile in terms of severity of hearing loss they can treat, and are often recommended for children.
The smaller the hearing aid, the more discreet; however, these devices offer fewer features and are less powerful. The larger the hearing aid, the more features and power it offers.
Matching Your Lifestyle Needs
Your audiologist will also discuss your lifestyle needs with you in order to determine what features you’ll want to take advantage of.
For example, if you enjoy listening to live music at White Concert Hall at Washburn University, they’ll recommend a hearing aid that offers special music programming. If you are constantly on-the-go, they’ll likely suggest a hearing aid that is rechargeable so you don’t have to worry about stopping at the store for batteries.
For more information about what hearing aid features are available or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call Topeka ENT today.