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What Should You Know Before Buying Hearing Aids?

a blond haired woman looking at different hearing aid styles

Previously, selecting a hearing aid was a much simpler process. There were just a few different models to choose from, and they all performed in a similar fashion. Hearing aids did not become viable options for more moderate hearing loss until modern technology was integrated into the design. And, thanks to digital technologies, a number of features for dealing with a wide range of listening conditions became readily accessible. 

But that's the price to pay: simple decisions that produced bad outcomes are now more complex decisions with multiple choices. This is one of the primary reasons you should work with a reputable audiologist who can walk you through the most important aspects. Here are six things to look for and questions to ask your audiologist while buying hearing aids.

The ability to program the hearing aid

Not all hearing devices are created equal. From the difference in sizes to the features available, there are many factors to consider when deciding on the right hearing aid for your specific needs. Hearing aids can be designed to improve sounds based on the type of hearing loss you have. Otherwise, all sound is amplified equally, which would make it much more difficult to hear speech than before. Ask your audiologist about programming choices, such as pre-programmed settings for various sound environments, like at a restaurant versus at school.

Design

Hearing aids are available in a range of sizes and shapes, from behind-the-ear (BTE) to completely in canal (CIC). When it comes to hearing aid types, you'll want to consider price, functionality, ease of use, and appearance. You should also speak with your audiologist on this one since several factors must be weighed, including the seriousness of your hearing loss.

Directional microphones

Hearing aids are purchased for various purposes, including the ability to hear a variety of sounds, but the primary reason is to hear and understand speech. If that's the case, be sure to ask about directional microphones in every hearing aid you're considering. Two or more microphones are mounted at a fixed distance from each other inside the hearing aid in directionality hearing aids. The difference in sound arrival times to each microphone then determines how the hearing aid responds to the sound. This helps the hearing aid to focus on the main sound source in front of you, which in the case of a person, it would be speech.

Reduction of background noise

The majority of digital hearing aid models include background noise and feedback reduction, but you can double-check this for every device you're considering. A microprocessor in hearing aids can differentiate between high-frequency sounds (such as speech) and low-frequency sounds (like background noise). The microprocessor will then amplify speech while removing all other sounds.