The wide array of hearing aids can be overwhelming! Most of us can remember the aids used by our friends and family members in the past. Some of these were large and clunky, and others required a lot of manual dexterity to insert, adjust, and to change the batteries. The good news is that technology is rapidly outpacing our assumptions about the features of hearing aids. New models are released every day with technology to adapt to a rapidly changing sonic environment. Just as our world takes on new sounds and hearing environments, assistive technology steps in with new features and capabilities.
A few simple questions will help you take stock of your own hearing needs. It is a good idea to ask yourself these questions before your hearing test and appointment with an audiologist or hearing specialist. Come prepared with an understanding of what you are missing in your hearing life that could be improved through assistive technology.
When Do You Most Notice Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Each of us loses sensitivity to sound in a different way. Some of us might struggle to hear voices in noisy environments. Others of us notice that certain types of sound from high to low, or frequencies, are missing from our hearing. Still others of us might find that very loud situations sound dull or muted. Take a moment to remember the time you most recently noticed your hearing loss. This might help your audiologist decide which kind of hearing aid to recommend.
What Are Your Favorite Leisure Activities?
If you have a very active lifestyle, you may need a different type of hearing aid that can withstand the demands of motion and moisture in and around the ears. Others of us experience leisure in restaurants or bars where the din of noise can be a challenge to hearing. Still others of us would like to be able to hear music, movies, or television more clearly. Knowing the activities that make you happy will be important to form a safe space of comfortable hearing.
What are the Hearing Demands of Your Workplace?
Some of us have been wearing hearing protection on the job for a long time. We may be exposed to loud, noisy, or repetitive sounds that could be damaging. Hearing assistance can go alongside protection in these workplace environments. Others of us spend a lot of time on the phone and will need aids that are particularly suited to telephone conversations and that can translate easily into face-to-face conversations.
What is Your Level of Manual Dexterity?
A commonly reported struggle with some hearing aids is the inability to easily manipulate them. Taking them in and out, as well as adjusting the volume or changing the batteries on some aids, can be difficult for those with compromised manual dexterity. Take a moment to consider the last time you had to work with a small object. If it was a challenge, your audiologist can use this information to help you select the right model.
What Features Are Important to You?
As you might imagine, new technology comes with many new features and capabilities, many of which can enhance our lives. Yet, some of these features may not be useful to you and even may be a bit confusing. Some of the new features of hearing aids include Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeable batteries, and the ability to connect directly with television, radio, mp3 players, and telephones. While these new features may be exciting to some, they are not useful to others. In some cases, new features can also be a tradeoff with the affordability of the device, so be sure to consider what kinds of features you would like before embarking on the path toward assistive technology.
Visit Us at Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center
Of course, the most important tip for selecting hearing aids is to take that step toward assistance! Scheduling a FREE hearing test is usually the first task, and our team at Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center is skilled at helping you know the range of your options and which will best suit your lifestyle, needs, and personal taste. Schedule an appointment today and be on your way to finding the right hearing assistance!