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4 Tips for Selecting A Hearing Aid

a hearing specialist showing her patient a selection of hearing aids

If you’ve recently been to see your hearing instrument specialist (HIS), then you may have discovered that your hearing loss could be treated by using a hearing aid. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, there are multiple options available that not only help you hear clearly, but can suit your preferences and lifestyle.

If you’re having trouble selecting the right hearing aid, or you’re not sure where to start, take a look at these tips for selecting a hearing aid.

Think about your lifestyle

Often, people choose their type of hearing aid to suit their lifestyle. For example, if you regularly enjoy listening to music, going to the theatre, singing or even something like swimming, then the kind of hearing aid you might choose will be entirely different to those with different interests and hobbies.

Remember to mention this to your HIS at your appointment, as they will be able to preserve what natural hearing you have left and advise you when it comes to selecting a hearing aid.

Learn about the various styles

There are several styles of hearing aid available to you – depending on your hearing loss. Your hearing instrument specialist will work closely with you, evaluating the severity of your condition, as well as your personal preferences, to find a suitable device. The most common options include:

  • Behind the ear (BTE): A BTE is suitable for people with mild-to-profound hearing loss, and comfortably fit the outer ear, extending behind the ear to the housing with all of the inner components. 
  • In the ear (ITE): If you want an easy-to-handle device, ITE hearing aids are a great option. The conventional ITE hearing aid comes in various sizes and is usually worn entirely inside the ear or ear canal. These devices are recommended for mild-to-moderately-severe hearing loss.
  • In the canal (ITC): ITC hearing aids are very similar to ITE hearing aids. They are slightly smaller and only sit in the lower part of your ear, filling the ear canal but not the entire ear concha. ITCs are made to a custom mold of your ear and so promise a snug fit with a relatively small and inconspicuous design.
  • Completely in canal (CIC): If you want a hearing aid that is virtually invisible to others, CIC hearing aids are perfect. CICs are put into the ear canal directly, making them one of the most discreet hearing aids on the market.
  • Invisible in canal (IIC): IIC hearing aids are worn deep in the ear canal and are perfect for those with an extremely active lifestyle and want a discreet hearing aid.

Will you need accessories?

Some hearing aids come with accessories such as external microphones and induction kits to fit around your home. Do you need accessories to make the most of your hearing aids? For example, students with hearing loss will often carry an external microphone to give to their professor so that no matter where they’re sat in the classroom, they’re not missing out on beneficial education.

Induction loop kits will allow you to set up microphones around your home so you can hear things like the doorbell or even your TV. Think about whether you would benefit from hearing aid accessories, as this could affect your final decision.

Which would benefit you the most?

There are some hearing aids that are discreet, yet may feel more intrusive, yet others, such as the BTE are more visible to other people, but much more powerful and rarely need any accessories. If you feel self-conscious about having to wear hearing aids, a smaller, more discreet option such as the CIC or the IIC hearing aids may be a better option for you.

Think about where you’ll need to use your hearing aids the most – will it be at work or do you need them to drown out the noise of a loud crowd so you can hear people next to you? If looks and feel don’t bother you, your HIS will be able to advise which hearing aid is best for your hearing loss.

For more information or advice on selecting a hearing aid, call Better Hearing of Madison County at (315) 693-3637.