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Choosing the Best Hearing Aid for Your Lifestyle

Choosing the Best Hearing Aid for Your Lifestyle

Hearing aids come in all shapes, sizes and features, which is why your hearing test is only a small determining factor in which hearing aid is best for you.

Once your hearing test results are analyzed, we’ll whittle down your options based on some primary factors. After that, we recommend choosing a hearing aid that fits well and meets the needs of your lifestyle.

Lifestyle is One of the Most Important Factors in Hearing Aid Options

Some of the most primary factors we’ll use in whittling down your options are:

  • The severity of hearing loss. Those with minimal loss need a different type of receiver from those who have more severe hearing loss.
  • Speech understanding score. Sometimes, hearing aids aren’t that helpful when it comes to helping you understand basic speech patterns, in which case cross-technology or a cochlear implant might be a recommendation for one or both ears.
  • Speech and noise score. Tests like the Quick SIN indicates the degree of hearing loss in proportion to background noise, which may indicate the need for accessories like a telecoil loop and/or wireless listening device access.
  • History of hearing aid success. Have you had hearing aids in the past? We they effective? What did you like or dislike about them? Your experience factors heavily into your next generation of hearing aids.
  • Ear anatomy. Everyone’s ears are different and while most hearing aid companies design equipment with respect to generalities and personal distinction, some hearing aids simply fit better, work better and/or feel better to your ears.

Then, there are the lifestyle factors, and these play a large role in which brand and type of hearing aid we recommend.

Where do you live?

You may love a certain hearing aid, but learn the only place it can be serviced is directly from the seller or from a hearing specialist that retires in two years. This makes repairs and replacement options trickier. Make sure the hearing aids you choose can have serviced easily and quickly.

Do you have arthritis, dexterity issues and/or notable vision loss?

If this is the case, we need to balance your ability to maneuver and insert/remove the hearing aid easily and without risk of damaging the hearing aid or yourself.

Where do you work and/or enjoy spending time?

Hearing aids are designed to serve three different lifestyles:

  • Active and/or those with demanding listening environments
  • Casual lifestyle and/or those spending more time outdoors or in moderate listening environments
  • Quiet lifestyles that mostly present quiet listening environments

Identifying the category that best suits you will narrow your options.

Do you work in a noisy office, construction site or warehouse? Your hearing aid selection should focus on those that eliminate background noise. Are you a singer or a musician? You may prefer one that provides more nuanced sound quality. On the flip side, if your life is spent mainly in your own home or in mostly quiet, smaller-group scenarios, there may be no need to invest in a higher-performing, higher-tech and higher-dollar option.

Are you a techie?

It is simply not true that those with minimal hearing loss only need “basic” technology while those with more severe hearing loss need all the bells and whistles. The level of technology desired has more to do with your day-to-day lifestyle and preferences. If you don’t have a smartphone, for example, certain high-tech devices would be a waste of your money and time since you wouldn’t have access to their most important features.

Need assistance determining which hearing aids are right for you? Schedule an appointment with the Audiology department at Palouse Specialty Physicians. We’ll work closely with you to assess your needs and patiently support you in finding the best and most comfortable hearing aids for you.

Published on October 5, 2018