hearing aid buying guide
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN CHOOSING
HEARING AIDS FOR HEARING LOSS
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Hearing loss is difficult to deal with. We know because we have parents and grandparents with hearing loss and it can be hard for us all to communicate sometimes. It's important that your loved one finds the right hearing aid, but not all aids are created equal.
Do you or your loved one have difficulty hearing conversations, listening to music,or enjoying the favourite TV shows? If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's possible that a hearing aid might be the right solution for you.
There are many different hearing aids available on the market today, so it can take some time and patience to find one that is tailored perfectly for your needs. To help make this process easier for you, here are six factors worth considering when choosing the best hearing aid.
1. Consider the type of hearing loss you have
Most hearing loss is age related and it’s called sensorineural hearing loss. This hearing loss affects the speech frequencies. It’s the cause of more than 90% of hearing loss and it's typically caused by nerve damage to the inner ear. This can make it hard for you to distinguish sounds in social settings like in a group situation where there are more than 2 people speaking at once. Imagine being in a shop or in a café. Even busier environments can be even more challenging.
Sensorineural hearing loss often progresses in severity with age. In most cases it will never reverse and hearing be restored. So, the longer you leave it, the harder it is to adapt to new listening ways.
Conductive hearing loss is less common and it’s when the natural movement of sound through the ear is obstructed. When this happens, sounds cannot travel to your brain and you may lose some or all of your hearing. Depending on your hearing loss levels, this will determine the best hearing recommendations for you. Sometimes an operation can restore hearing but could be temporary. Hearing Aids and Bone Anchored Hearing Aids could be the right solution here.
2. Know Your Budget
When you're going to buy hearing aids, make sure that they are the best for your budget without sacrificing the quality of service from your hearing aid provider.
It's medically proven that hearing loss affects cognitive ability*. So if you or a loved one has hearing loss, untreated, it can lead to Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.
Who wants to sit in a room with active conversation and laughter and not hear the full conversation?
Be kind and take care yourself remembering you hear with your brain as well as your ears. So, if a higher specification makes more sense, then go ahead and use your full budget because it’s all about quality of life and your everyday interactions.
Communication with ease is so valuable!
(Wingfield A, Peelle JE. How does hearing loss affect the brain?. Aging health. 2012;8(2):107-109. doi:10.2217/AHE.12.5).
3. Consider what types of devices are available to help with your hearing loss
You may already be familiar with the different types of hearing aids.
Receiver in the Ear (RIC), In the Ear (ITE), and Invisible Hearing Aids are called CIC aids.
Remember the hearing aid you can wear is determined by what hearing loss that hearing aid can help with.
Hearing aids are prescribed based on mild to moderate hearing loss and then severe to profound hearing loss. We also have to consider how many challenging environments you're in through the week. Someone who’s at home, will not need as sophisticated a hearing aid as someone who’s active all the time.
These are all the factors we take into consideration to help you make the best choice you’re happy with.
4. Which features are most important to you?
It can be quite overwhelming when there are so many fancy names for unique features of hearing aids from each manufacturer. But to strip this down, there’s just a few that could be important for you.
Do you want your hearing aid to connect to your mobile phone and if so, we need to check the compatibility with you phone or iPad.
Do you want rechargeable because there are even in the ear rechargeable hearing aids which help immensely with ease of use and are kinder to the environment.
Do you want to control your hearing aids yourself with your phone or with a remote control? If so we need to sit with you and connect them up for you. Remember, we are always on the end of the phone if you have questions or want to drop in.
Do you need to connect your hearing aids to your TV or computer? Again, this can be achieved with ease.
What about a loop system? The loop system for hearing aids is pretty important if you’re a church goer for example.
A thorough initial consultation will always help you get through the “fancy words” and strip it down to what you really need.
5. Consider whether you will have any difficulties handling your hearing aids
Another important question that should be looked at when considering hearing aids is what you can handle yourself with ease.
The hearing aids are there to help you – not stress you!
So practice in clinic taking the hearing aid in and out. See if it’s easy for you to do.
What about the wax guards, domes and batteries?
Will you be able to handle each of these with ease?
These again are crucial factors to consider as you don’t want to “dread” having to fiddle each day with your hearing aids.
You need to ensure you look forward to wearing your hearing aids and getting the best out of your hearing.
6. Find a reputable hearing aid clinic that has knowledgeable staff and offers warranties and long-term care and support
Beware of internet companies offering big discounts and hearing aid dispensers without a fixed clinic address – attractive prices aren’t always followed up with any maintenance or support.
Your hearing care is a long-term journey, and you need reliability, availability, and sustainability.
A hearing clinic with a fixed premises is fully invested in delivering long term hearing care.
Ask yourself, how long has this company been around? What are the reviews like? Do they answer the phones promptly? Can I get an appointment when I need it? Can I just drop in if I’m struggling with changing a battery or with getting my hearing aid to work? Do they understand everything about hearing aids? Can I see someone if my aids stop working?
These are all essential questions to ask yourself when choosing your hearing aid clinic.
Which magazine contributors voted in two separate consumer polls that your independent hearing clinic, like us, are rated the highest by hearing aid consumers – a staggering 87% - highlighting how the independent hearing clinic offers the better customer experience – rated higher than all the national hearing companies!
We hope you choose us here at Hear Pure for your long-term hearing aid care