How to Choose a Hearing Aid

If you are considering hearing instruments, the process does not have to be overwhelming. You can simplify the process by asking questions and educating yourself. The following hearing aid information can help you with the entire process; what to expect, what questions you should ask, and what choices and options you have.

The Hearing Aid Experience

By making the decision to treat your hearing loss with hearing instruments, you are the key player in this transition to a better quality of life, so take a few minutes to educate yourself on the hearing aid experience. Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions when you finally get the results of your hearing test.

You’ll end up with the best hearing loss solution based on consultation with your hearing aid practitioner. With your input, these hearing professionals can improve your hearing with the right hearing instruments that suit your hearing needs, your lifestyle and your preferences.

Today, it’s all about complete customization. You decide from a full menu of style and feature options. By discussing your listening goals, lifestyle and personal preferences openly with your hearing professional, you become a partner in the success of your hearing aid experience.

What To Expect: Hearing Aid Transition Period

Following the fitting of hearing instruments a transition period is expected

Hearing instruments amplify sound and in doing so, sound waves are digitally processed, delivering a sound that may initially sound different from the organic sound you used to have.

In addition depending upon how long you’ve waited to treat your hearing loss, your hearing nerves are not accustomed to hearing sound at the pitches in which you have hearing loss. Like any part of our body, those nerves need time to adjust and get used to being stimulated with sound again.

So expect a period of adjustment, which can vary person to person. Work with your hearing professional to “ease” into listening with your hearing instruments. The goal is to work your way up to wearing the hearing instruments during the entire day to give your nerves and brain optimal time to adjust.

In a matter of time, your ears and the hearing centers of the brain will adapt to this new, improved sound source. There are some lucky people who will plug in, walk out the door and never give hearing a thought again. These folks adapt to hearing aid sound immediately. You will too, even if it takes a few days.

What To Expect: Hearing Aid Prices

Let’s face it, the word is out – hearing instruments can cost you a penny or two. Hearing aid prices range typically between $1000-$5000 per hearing aid. Various factors influence the cost of hearing instruments such as: where you live (cost of living), level of technology you choose, size of hearing aid, warranty and after fitting care offered by your hearing professional.

Hearing professionals typically recommend the purchase of a pair of hearing instruments to avoid stressing the unaided ear, and in most cases, hearing loss occurs in both ears. Don’t skimp and go with one high-end hearing aid thinking it will save you money and it will be easier to get used to. The fact is, by aiding one ear only, you are depriving that other ear of sound for a longer period of time and you actually may not see as much benefit from wearing just one hearing aid. Our brains are wired to hear with both ears. You wouldn’t just put eyeglasses on one eye would you?

What To Expect: Hearing Aid Technology and Features

When it comes to different levels of technology and features, you have a long menu from which to choose, though most hearing aid features are not ala carte. Typically you can select the between entry-level, mid-level and advanced. Depending on which level of technology you choose, additional hearing aid features may include:

  • Automated feedback squelch – reduces random whistling throughout the day and improves the ability to talk on the phone .Automated volume control (up or down automatically as the hearing instruments “read” listening conditions)
  • Wireless connectivity – turns hearing instruments into a personal headset, enabling wearers to interact seamlessly with all forms of audio devices, like cell phones and televisions
  • Total control – many advanced hearing instruments operate automatically; however some provide you the ability to take control of what you hear. Just as some people prefer cars with automatics, there are those who prefer manual transmissions that give them more control over daily driving activities. Some hearing instruments allow best of both worlds – not happy with the auto performance, then make a manual change with a push of button
  • Style – from completely invisible to stylish choices that makes a fashion statement
  • Notifications & reminders – hearing instruments can talk to you, discretely notifying you of everything from a settings change to when you have an appointment with your hearing professional

Make a list of your hearing aid experience priorities, your life priorities, and the sounds you missing and what do you want to hear again. Then you’ll know where to put your hearing aid dollars to get the biggest BANG for your buck, and the best listening and wearing experience based on your priorities.

Call Desert Hearing Care at (480) 985-2544 or schedule your free consultation online.