5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Hearing Aid
Thanks to advances in technology, hearing aids have come a long way from the days when they were big, beige, and amplified every single sound to the same level. This is welcome news if you’re struggling with hearing loss and are looking for an effective way to improve everything – from get-togethers with friends to work meetings.
A visit to an experienced audiologist for a hearing test will help you to find the hearing aids suitable for your hearing loss and lifestyle. Here, we explore a few of the factors worth considering when you’re looking to choose a hearing aid.
1. The type and degree of your hearing loss
During a hearing test appointment, your audiologist will be testing for the type and severity of your hearing loss. This will help them to determine whether you are suitable for hearing aids.
If they’re right for you, your audiologist’s priority will be to talk through the hearing aid options that are most suited to your type of hearing loss: from there, you can then explore other factors such as design, comfort and fit.
2. Cosmetics, style and design
Hearing aids come in a range of different designs, including styles that you wear behind-the ear, in-the-ear and those which are almost entirely invisible. Your decision making at this stage might centre on comfort, which is why it can be a good idea to try out the various models to see what feels (and looks) right for you.
Our audiologists understand that you might need some time to get used to wearing a hearing aid, which is why we offer you a ‘trial’ period. This allows you to wear your devices outside of the clinic for up to 30 days to see if they are a good fit.
It’s important that you feel comfortable operating your hearing aids. Some people favour small models that are almost ‘invisible’, while others prefer a slightly larger model, especially if they have dexterity issues, or a visual impairment.
What’s good to know is everything from size, shape and colour can be explored with your audiologist during your appointment. They can help you to filter your preferences, and align them with models that will be right for your hearing loss and lifestyle.
3. Technology features and lifestyle activities
It’s important for you to think about areas of your life that have been most affected by your hearing loss. This will help you to choose the hearing aid that offers you the greatest benefits, inline with your needs.
Like most devices, hearing aids come with different technology features that suit different people, and the activities they do most. For example, some hearing aids include:
- Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to stream music or phone calls directly from your smartphone.
- App control: this allows you to control volume, programs and other features via an app. You can also activate ‘find my hearing aids’ (in the same way that you might activate ‘find my iPhone’) and check the battery capacity of your hearing aids on these apps.
- Directional microphones that help you to hear better in noisy environments.
4. Aftercare and general maintenance
After you’ve chosen your hearing aid, you should consider the following:
- Are you able to manage the functionality of your hearing aids, or do you need further support when you take your hearing aids home? Our audiologists are aware of individual needs, and will offer you ongoing assistance at follow-up appointments where needed.
- What does the warranty on your hearing aids cover, and for how long? Check certain factors such as loss, damage, faulty parts and theft to ensure you’re covered to the level you need.
- Are there any further expenses or charges that you’ll need to cover after purchasing your hearing aids? You can discuss this with your audiologist, who might mention the recommended follow-up consultations, and appointments for fine tuning and repairs.
If, for continuity of care, you prefer to see the same audiologist at follow-up appointments, this is something we will always aim to offer you at our clinic.
When you consider how significantly a hearing aid may improve your life, you will want to choose the best model to fit both your needs and your budget. We will always help you to find the most affordable, effective solution.
Visiting our London audiology clinic
To make an appointment for a hearing test with an audiologist, or for advice on hearing aids, please call (020) 7244 4200 or make an appointment online.