Tips for Selecting Hearing Aids

If you’ve decided it’s time to purchase a set of hearing aids, good for you! Hearing aids are one of the best tools at our disposal to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle as we age. They help us to stay in the conversation with friends and loved ones, and help prevent the complications that come with untreated hearing loss.

Those who wear hearing aids tend to have more self-confidence than those with untreated hearing loss. They tend to enjoy more physical activity, more social time, and are less likely to be depressed or suffer from cognitive decline as time goes on. They even report a greater sense of optimism about their futures, and even the future of the world in general! Hearing aids, in short, allow us to live our best lives.

Hearing aids are a significant purchase, so it’s important to be sure you’re making the right decision. While your audiologist will help guide you to the best hearing aids to meet your needs, they’ll need to know about your lifestyle and personal priorities in order to help you make the best decisions. There’s a lot of information to digest when it comes to the vast hearing aid market, so here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re selecting your new set of hearing aids.

Bring a Friend

Two heads remember more than one! Whether it’s your partner, a loved one, or a friend from work, having someone along to keep you company through the process will help you hear and process the information you receive from your audiologist.

Choose a Quality Provider

Not all hearing aid retailers are the same. Hearing care professionals are trained to dispense hearing aids, while audiologists are doctors who can diagnose medical conditions that may be underlying your hearing loss. For the best care, see an audiologist to ensure that hearing aids are actually the best treatment for your specific hearing loss.

Know Your Needs

Your audiologist will ask questions about your lifestyle and your current experience of your hearing ability. Where is your hearing loss the most problematic for you? If you’re prepared to answer these questions before you arrive at the audiologist’s office, you’ll be better able to tell your audiologist everything they need to know to help you make the right decisions.

Get a Hearing Test

The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit organization, recommends getting a hearing test once every decade until age 50, and once every three years after that. Regular hearing tests are an important part of maintaining your best health and well-being, just like checkups at the doctor’s office.

Some hearing aid retailers will sell you hearing aids without a hearing test, and some hearing aids now can administer a hearing test using a smartphone app. While it is sometimes good to be able to check your hearing in this way, it’s important to get an actual hearing test in a soundproof booth, administered by a professional. This is the way to get the most accurate results, and also involves a physical examination of your outer ears to check for blockage and eardrum perforation.

Request a Demonstration

A BTE (behind-the-ear) or RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aid can be fitted with a disposable tip and programmed for your specific hearing loss so you can “try before you buy.” Hearing aids are a considerable investment, so it’s important to make sure you’re going to walk out with the hearing aids that best match your needs.

Consider Add-Ons

There are quite a few accessory devices that can accompany your hearing aids. T-coils, wireless microphones, Bluetooth capability, and TV adapters are common, but come at an additional cost. These add-ons bring a lot of value to some people, but depending on the ways you actually spend your time, some of them may not be necessary for you. You can also purchase certain add-ons down the line, if you decide they might be helpful to you in the future.

Take Advantage of Training Classes

If you’ve been dealing with untreated hearing loss for some time, training classes can be an important part of getting started with your new hearing aids. The brain takes time to adjust to hearing all the sounds of the world again. Training classes will help you jumpstart the process and get adjusted to your new hearing aids in a shorter period of time.

If you or a loved one may be in need of hearing aids, make an appointment for a hearing test today and find out what hearing aids can do to improve your quality of life!

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