Choosing the right hearing aid can be an intricate process. It will depend on a number of factors starting with the level of hearing loss, budget, lifestyle, and hearing needs. Acquiring a hearing aid is not as easy as shopping for a perfect pair of shoes. Your selection should be aligned or consulted with an audiologist along with your hearing test results.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are various hearing aid styles on the market. Being familiar with the different types of hearing aids will make it easier for you to choose the best hearing aid that suits your preferences.
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids: ITE hearing aids are custom-fit and sit in the outer part of the ear. This type of hearing aid style is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids: BTE hearing aids are connected to a custom-fit earmold that sits inside the ear. This type of hearing aid is recommended for any degree of hearing loss and can hold more features and technology than its smaller counterparts.
- In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids: ITC hearing aids are smaller and sit deeper in the ear canal. They are less visible than ITE hearing aids.
- Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids: These are the smallest type of hearing aid and are worn completely inside the ear canal. They are recommended for individuals who want discretion when it comes to hearing instruments.
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids: RIC hearing aids offer a high level of comfort and are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
- Open fit hearing aids: These hearing aids allow for natural sound to enter the ear thanks to its small casing that sits behind the ear and a thin tube that goes into the ear canal.
Factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid
Hearing aids are an investment. You need to make a wise decision because you will be using that device for many hours a day.
Below are some factors you should consider when choosing a hearing aid:
- Type and degree of hearing loss: This will help determine the ideal type of hearing aid and technology level that will best address your specific hearing requirements.
- Budget: The more advanced a hearing aid is and the more feature it offers, the more expensive it will be. If you’re on a budget, you can start with a decent yet good-quality hearing aid with basic features. You can level up or accessorize as you go along your hearing aid journey.
- Lifestyle, hearing needs, and ease of use: Your daily activities and the environments you are constantly in will be a big help in determining the best hearing aid for you. It’s also a good idea to take into account the ease of use of hearing aids and how using the device can fit into your daily routine.
- Physical comfort and fit: Since you will be wearing hearing aids most of the time, it is important that you enjoy how your hearing aids fit. There are various hearing aid styles available for you to choose from, pick the style that you are most comfortable and happy with. The sound must be comfortable as well, not too loud and not too soft.
- Brand reputation and support: When it comes to hearing aids, quality, and brand reputation should be non-negotiable. There are numerous over-the-counter devices out there claiming to be the “best” but these are from unknown brands and their prices are suspiciously low. Don’t be fooled by the low price points; chances are, these are not really hearing aids and are just amplifiers pretending to be medical devices. Stay away from sketchy, brandless products as you will only end up wasting your time and money. As audiologists, we always remind our patients to choose a hearing aid from a reputable brand with a good track record for customer support.
- Personal preferences: What features do you need from a hearing aid? Hearing aids have their own set of features and technology such as Bluetooth connectivity, telecoil, direct streaming, remote control, etc. You might want to list the features that are important to you so it will be easier for you to narrow down your choices.
Audiologists in Austin, TX
Audiologists at Austin Hearing Aid Center will be happy to walk you through the hearing aid selection process. We can provide you with choices that best suit your hearing requirements, budget, lifestyle, and other hearing needs.
Once you have selected a hearing aid, we will program the device to ensure that you are getting the best hearing improvement possible.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!