Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things to consider when purchasing hearing aids

I am often asked what is important to consider when investing in hearing aids.  I typically tell people to keep it simple and break it down into three basic decisions.  The first two are simple.

First, for most people if you have hearing loss in both ears, then you need two hearing aids.  There are few exceptions to this rule.  The ears work best when they work together.  This is important when in noisy places.  You need both ears to separate speech from background noise.

Second, you will need to decide on the style of the hearing aids.  There are four basic styles.  Among the newest instruments are miniature behind-the-ear aids.  These rest at the top of the ear and have a slim tube leading into the ear canal.  They are discreet and well camouflaged.  Traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids have a thicker tube leading to an ear piece that fills the ear.  In-the-ear hearing aids fit all in the ear and fill the opening of the ear.  In-the-canal hearing aids are placed in the lower part of the ear and ear canal.  Completely-in-the-canal aids fit in the ear canal.  Hearing loss, dexterity of the hands and fingers and personal preference are considered when choosing the best style of each individual.

Third, you will choose the technology for the hearing aids. This is the most complex of the decisions and has the greatest impact on the cost of the aids.  The technology and features typically affect; how well the aids can adjust to many different listening environments; the degree of fine tuning available to match your hearing loss and how aggressive the hearing aids will be at separating speech from background noise.  Any hearing aid technology and feature can be added to most any style instrument. 

Your audiologist can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of style and technologies and further explain the benefits best suited to your lifestyle.  Get started with an Audiologic Evaluation. In Mentor Ohio call 440-205-8848.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA

Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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