17th October 2016
Selecting The Right Hearing Aid For You
Hearing Aids, An Array of Confusing Choices
Choosing a hearing aid can be quite a daunting affair, even a quick Google about hearing aids online will overload you with the choice and information available. Being very honest, as professionals we are constantly running to catch up with the changing pace of hearing aid technology.
There is so many things to get your head around, different types of hearing aid, different technology levels, different benefits, sizes, power and features. That is why we are here to help you make the right choice of hearing aid in Edinburgh. We continuously undertake education to keep ourselves knowledgeable.
However, there are some things you should know and consider when it comes to the time for you to make a choice. Let's talk about them, the most important things that you need to understand is that the best hearing aid for you rests on three key factors. Your hearing loss, your lifestyle needs and your budget.
Your hearing loss
The first step is to get the information you need with a high quality diagnostic hearing test. This will allow you with confidence to understand what level and kind of hearing loss you have. We will always clearly explain what your hearing loss is and how it is affecting you, we will also use the information as the basis for the decision of what hearing aid type is suitable for your hearing needs.
In general and as a rule of thumb, different hearing aids are more suitable for different types of hearing losses. Although in the recent past, those rules have become blurred, for instance, in the ear hearing aids have become far more powerful than was once possible. In general though, suitability is as follows:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids are generally good for most hearing losses down to profound.
- In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids are generally good down to severe.
- In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aids are generally good down to moderate to severe.
- Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) are generally good down to moderate to severe.
As I said, these are general rules of thumb, some manufacturers offer CICs that are good down to severe to profound, however, their suitability might be changed by other factors such as ear canal size.
Why is your lifestyle needs so important?
Your lifestyle relates to the level of hearing technology you may need. It really is as simple as that. A hearing aid needs to be able to do what you want, the technology needs to be up to the challenges you put in its way. This is important for you to understand for two reasons.
The first is so you can make an educated choice about the hearing aids you need, to help you in the situations you want them to. The more you want them to do, the higher the technology level you will need. However, this is where your budget comes in. Not everyone can afford the highest technology levels, however clearly understanding what the technology can deliver will allow you to make educated decisions.
The final piece, what is your realistic budget? Again, with the other two factors in mind you can assess what you need and whether you can afford it. However, the other factors can also point to the best way to spend your money.
For instance, if your lifestyle needs really would be served by higher mid level technology but your budget will not stretch to . You can consider a lower level of technology and a wireless accessory that can help in the situations you would like to hear better. That could mean buying a remote microphone with your hearing aids so you can hear better in the car or when eating out.
Or perhaps an audio streamer that allows you to hear music and the TV clearly and at a reduced volume. Wireless accessories can make a huge difference for somebody wearing a lower level hearing aid technology.
Hearing aids are a big and very important investment, the right ones will make a huge difference to your life. While the cost may seem high, consider it an investment in your ability to enjoy life. Don't forget that they will also last you five years or more so you need to factor that in, even the most expensive hearing aids can be usually purchased for less than the price of a cup of coffee a day when you factor in the life span of them.
We hope that this article has gone some way to helping you understand the factors you need to consider. If you have any questions about hearing aids or if you are looking for a hearing test in Edinburgh, why don't you give us a call.
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I am an experienced hearing aid user who recently attended Edinburgh Hearing Aid Practice for assessment. The latter was the most comprehensive I have experienced to date. Audiologist Katie was meticulous in arriving at the best solution for me. She has a positive and sympathetic approach which is so important in this sensitive area.
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My appointment with Katie was informative, professional and relaxed. She immediately put me at ease regarding the procedure I was about to have and advised me on the best earplugs to protect my hearing whilst playing loud music. I cannot recommend Edinburgh Hearing Practice enough. Receiving a friendly welcome from reception and a professional consultation made the whole experience worthwhile.