Hearing loss is ranked as one of the most prevalent medical conditions today, and it’s a problem that can impact your entire life, including relationships, job performance, and leisure activities. At Associated Hearing Professionals, our experienced team of audiologists prioritizes your specific needs and preferences to help you decide on a state-of-the-art hearing aid that works best for you. By understanding and considering your expectations, you can help us narrow down the options and find your perfect fit.
Consult Your Audiologist
Hearing aids are medical devices used to treat hearing loss, which is often associated with other medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. Because of this, you should always consult with your audiologist before purchasing hearing aids, and your audiologist should be in contact with your physician and aware of any medication you are taking. Besides being individually fit to your ears, hearing aids should be programmed to your specific needs for the maximum benefit. While hearing aids do assist with hearing loss, they will not eliminate all background noise or restore normal hearing, so beware of advertisements that make over-the-top claims or state that particular technology is only available at certain locations. Purchasing hearing aids are an investment in yourself and your quality of life, so you should never feel pressured to buy a higher level of technology than you are comfortable with or is outside of your budget. The most successful hearing aid users are those who follow up appropriately with their healthcare professionals and have gained the knowledge of how to properly use their aids.
Hearing Aid Types and Styles
The first step to choosing a hearing aid is understanding your needs. It may help to make a list of circumstances or situations that you feel are most strongly impacted by your hearing loss. Even individuals with the same type and extent of hearing loss may find that they need different styles of hearing aids; for example, people who are still in the workforce often have different needs than retired individuals. Modern hearing aids can accommodate many different hobbies, so make sure to tell your audiologist if you enjoy activities like boating, sports, live music or theatre, or if your job requires you to attend meetings, conferences, and phone calls. Some hearing aid features and technologies include, but are not limited to:
- Directional microphones
- Remote controls
- Automatic program changes for different environments
- Bluetooth-compatible accessories
How to Choose a Hearing Aid
Understanding the various situations that prove challenging to hear in will help you decide the features and levels of hearing aid technology that will most benefit you. Consider your levels of activity now, and anticipate any future changes in your lifestyle when deciding between different brands and features. If you’re retiring from work and expecting more leisure time, you might need more flexibility in your hearing aid programming. So, while you may not have a current need for Bluetooth features or other technological accessories that let you stream audio directly from your TV, radio, or cell phone right now, they may prove beneficial down the road. Conduct research on specific brands and features, including warranties, cleaning needs, batteries, and if there are any additional charges for add-on accessories. Communicating with your audiologist will help you decide which options and features will best benefit you based on your current needs and plans.
The Importance of Hearing Aids
It takes the average patient between five and seven years from when they first notice difficulty with their hearing to the time they do something about it. The longer you wait, the longer it takes for your brain to adjust to the new sound. When left untreated, hearing loss can affect almost every facet of your life, including your relationships with family and friends, your ability to work, and your participation in social activities. Research shows that people who treat their hearing loss have fewer depressive symptoms, more social engagements, and an improved quality of life. While we encourage you to be informed of your options, keep in mind that not everything you read about hearing aids will be appropriate for your needs, so stay flexible and consider our recommendations when making a decision. We don’t expect you to know all of the complexities associated with choosing a hearing aid; that’s what we’re here for! We’ll assess your hearing and provide you with all the details needed, including information on adaptation periods and any recurring charges for follow-up visits for programming before providing you with a written purchase agreement.
How the Audiologists at Associated Hearing Professionals Can Help
If you’re experiencing hearing loss and think you may benefit from a hearing aid, the audiology team at Associated Hearing Professionals will take measures to ensure that you choose the hearing aid that best fits your lifestyle. We will discuss your priorities and help you find hearing aids that accommodate your needs. We offer hearing aids of every style with a wide range of technological capabilities. Contact our office in St. Louis, MO, today to schedule your hearing test and start taking control of your hearing health.