What Is the Proper Way to Rate Your Hearing Aids?
It used to be that rating your hearing aids was relatively simple because there were only a couple of choices. In today’s day and age, there are literally hundreds of styles to choose from and finding the perfect solution can pose quite a challenge. Ratings can be based upon technology, pricing, available features and your individual lifestyle. If you take the time to prepare yourself ahead of time, the decision will be that much easier in the end.
Begin your search by rating how advanced their technology is. The more advanced technology will be able to provide you with a much clearer level of sound, not to mention they are a lot more comfortable for the user to wear. One of the biggest issues is that they have trouble hearing speech over the noise in the background. Due to the recent technology advancements, users will have an improved level of hearing and be able to differentiate between the noise in the background and what the person is saying.
In the end, rating the technology all boils down to how much technicality there is in the hearing aid, how many features are available on the unit and how well will the unit be able to control different listening situations. Most of the hearing aid companies are able to make a hearing aid that compares to their competitors in terms of technology. Some of the highly advanced units will be able to offer you Bluetooth technology, artificial intelligence, recognition for various sounds and wireless features to name a few. When you start looking into the top models you can expect to spend upwards of $7,000 per pair, which can prove extremely beneficial if you are using all of the features that they have to offer.
Take a moment to consider what type of lifestyle you are currently living when it comes to choosing your hearing aid. This will help you determine exactly what features you are going to need and which ones you can live without. If you live a relatively quiet life with limited social gatherings, you will probably never end up using all of the features that the highly advanced units have to offer you. Before making the decision on which unit to purchase, decide how active your current lifestyle is. You can plan on replacing your hearing aid every five years or so. With that being said, take into consideration how active you think you are going to be over the next five years.
Hearing aid technology tends to be presented at various tiers: high, middle and low end. Depending on what features are available in each tier, you may notice a difference in how well you are able to hear in different situations. If you are someone who spends a lot of time at home, lower level technology may be the perfect solution for you. However, if you are the type of person who spends a lot of their time in an environment that is extremely noisy, you may want to consider one of the higher level devices. Sometimes you may be right in the middle, which is when you can take advantage of the middle level hearing aids. It doesn’t matter where you fall in because there is something for everyone when it comes to hearing aids.
Don’t just rate your device by the size or what it looks like. It’s what you find on the inside of the hearing aid that matters the most. You can get the technology you need in any size or shape, so make sure that the technology is at the forefront of your mind before making the final decision. Make sure that you discuss your likes and dislikes with the specialist. This will allow them to help you find the perfect hearing aid to meet your needs. Once they know what they are looking for, they can help determine which style is going to work for your degree of hearing loss and your anatomy.
Christine Schellin, Au.D., F-AAA Doctor of Audiology, Board Certified by the American Board of Audiology Christine received her B.S. in Speech Pathology/Audiology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1999, an M.A. in Audiology from Western Washington University in 2001, and an Au.D. from Salus University in 2008. Outside of work, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. For up-to-date hearing aid information visit her blog.