How to Find the Best Hearing Aid for You
If you are experiencing hearing loss, it is important that you see an audiologist. If they determine that you need to wear a hearing aid, you will soon come to notice that there is a vast range of devices to choose from.
It can be overwhelming trying to work out which is the best hearing aid for you, which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you get it right and choose the hearing aids that are the best fit for you.
First have a hearing needs assessment
Before you purchase hearing aids, it is important that you visit an audiologist, like the ones at Peninsula Hearing, for a hearing needs assessment. During this assessment, your audiologist will go through your options with you, showing you all of the devices that are available and helping you to determine which hearing aids will be best placed to meet your needs. You will also learn how to look after your hearing aids and what you can do to get the most out of them.
The types of hearing aids
If you want to be prepared for your meeting with your audiologist and ensure that you find the best hearing aids for you, it’s helpful to know what’s available.
There are currently four basic types of hearing aids available in the United States. They all contain a microchip which is used to help the wearer pock out speech from ambient background noise.
Of course, although there are a variety of basic types, you can buy hearing aids in more colors, shapes and styles than you might imagine!
The basic types of hearing aid are as follows:
In the canal (ITC)
ITC devices are the smallest available and sit in the ear canal, with invisible devices being hidden to the naked eye. These devices are recommended for individuals with mild hearing loss and provide the most natural sound experience.
In the ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids are typically custom-made to fit your ears perfectly. ITEs are worn inside the ear and are perfect for older patients who may not have the manual dexterity to handle smaller devices. They also have the benefit of concealing all of the working parts inside the case, which means there is no wire or tubing to contend with
Behind the ear (BTE)
BTE hearing aids are fitted behind the outer part of the ear, which means that they are more visible than some of the other hearing aids you can get. Suitable for all levels of hearing loss from mild to severe, they incorporate a custom-fit ear mold for comfort and use tubing routes to get the sound from the environment to where it needs to be – your ear canal. They also have space for a bigger battery, which means they are more powerful and longer-lasting than other hearing aids.
Open-fit miniature hearing aids are basically smaller BTE hearing aids that use really thin tubing. They can be fitted in the ear for a discrete look, which is good if you don’t want your hearing aid to be noticeable. They also do not have the side-effect of making your voice echo or sound as if you have been trapped in a barrel, which many hearing aid wearers experience. However, they do let in a bit more ambient noise from the environment than you might like, so it is worth talking this through with your audiologist before making a decision.
Receiver in canal
RIC hearing aids incorporate speakers, which are built into the ear tip, rather than the main part of the hearing aid, which means you get a clearer sound with less ambient noise interference or feedback. If you are concerned about discretion, this hearing aid is probably your best bet because it’s open-fit construction is not very visible at all. In fact, the only thing the average person would be able to see is a tony plastic wire or tube, and they would have to be looking pretty hard to see that.
No hearing aid devices are perfect and not all hearing aids will be suitable for you, but that is something you can discuss with one of our audiologists. You may even be able to try various devices out to see which one suits you best.
Whether you’re looking to be tested for hearing loss or you want to discuss your hearing aid options with a qualified audiologist, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Peninsula Hearing. Give us a call in Poulsbo at: 360-697-3061 or Port Townsend at 360-379-5458. We’re here to help.