A Beginner’s Guide to Selecting a Hearing Aid

Patient discussing hearing aid options with audiologistAccording to a report by the World Health Organization, nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss by 2050, and at least 700 million people will require hearing rehabilitation. If you’re suffering from hearing loss, picking the best possible hearing aid for your situation can help restore your sense of sound, as well as boost your overall quality of life. However, to ensure that you get the maximum benefits from your device, you’ll first want to understand how to select a hearing aid that effectively treats your level of hearing loss.

Severity of Your Hearing Loss

A comprehensive hearing evaluation is required to determine the severity of your hearing loss. Your audiologist will perform a series of tests to help detect your specific level of hearing loss. There are five different levels of hearing loss, including:

  • Mild hearing loss
  • Moderate hearing loss
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Severe-to-profound hearing loss
  • Profound hearing loss

Once your audiologist has determined which range of hearing loss you fall into, she will help you select a device that fits your unique needs. While some insurers will partially cover the cost of, or offer a discount towards, the hearing aids, it’s still important to consider the affordability and accessibility of the aids you choose.

Accessibility and Affordability

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, only about 25% of those that could benefit from hearing aids have ever used them. This staggering number is due to a multitude of factors, including the price of hearing aids and how much insurers are willing to cover. Hearing aids can cost anywhere from $399 to over $6,000, depending on your personal needs and the device’s features. It is important to know the main factors that contribute to success with hearing aids: 1. Are they appropriate for your lifestyle? 2. Are they an appropriate fit for your hearing loss? 3. How are they programmed? At Associated Hearing Professionals, our team takes into consideration the above factors as well as your possible insurance coverage when helping you choose your hearing aids.

Your Specific Needs

During your hearing appointment, your audiologist will ask you a variety of questions to decide which type of hearing aid will best enhance your hearing capabilities. Your audiologist will also review your medical history, take into consideration your lifestyle, and determine whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears. Binaural amplification, or two hearing aids, offers sustainable hearing improvement for more than 80% of people suffering from hearing loss. In addition, if you choose to only use one hearing aid, you run the risk of developing auditory deprivation.

Types of Hearing Aids to Consider

When choosing your hearing aid, it helps to be informed about all the options available to you. Some of the different types of hearing aids include:

  • Invisible in canal
  • Completely in canal
  • In the canal
  • In the ear
  • Receiver in canal
  • Mini behind the ear
  • Behind the ear

Before purchasing your hearing aids, you should also consider all the brands you have to choose from, including:

  • Lyric
  • Oticon
  • Phonak
  • ReSound
  • Signia
  • Starkey
  • Unitron
  • Widex

Recent upgrades in hearing aid technology have also given patients more options than ever before. Features like Bluetooth technology, fall detection, fitness tracking, and rechargeable batteries have made hearing aids more useful, adaptive, and comfortable. By using an app specific to your hearing aid(s), you can customize the hearing aids to maximize how they may specifically work for you.

Visit Associated Hearing Professionals for Your Hearing Aid Needs

For many people, purchasing a set of hearing aids is a long-term investment in their overall health. The team at Associated Hearing Professionals understands this and strives to help patients find hearing aids that fit their specific needs. With over 70 years of combined experience treating the St. Louis metropolitan area, our team has the knowledge to aid you in your hearing health journey. For more information on the types of hearing aids we offer, contact us today.