4 Questions to Ask Your Audiologist About Hearing Aids
With so many different styles of hearing aids and an increasing range of additional features available, knowing where to start can be challenging. The best way to get an understanding of the types of hearing aids that are available is to ask your audiologist. This will provide you with much-needed knowledge to make the best decision for your specific needs.
1. Which types of hearing aids are available?
Most audiologists will discuss three main types of hearing aids: ITE (in the ear), BTE (behind the ear), and ITC (in the canal). For more discreet options, CIC (completely in canal) and IIC (invisible in canal) may be the right solution for your privacy concerns.
Hearing aids may also use analog or digital technology. Some brands of digital hearing aids offer features in addition to amplifying sound, including:
- Directional microphone systems that limit background noise
- Bluetooth connection and smartphone app controls
- Artificial intelligence that learns from your environment and makes adaptations accordingly
- Rechargeable batteries
2. How will you determine which hearing aid is right for me?
With so many options, you may wonder why your audiologist has recommended a certain hearing aid device for you. It’s always a good idea to ask your audiologist which factors she’ll consider when making a recommendation.
Though your audiologist can give you a detailed response based on your unique history, in general, audiologists will consider the factors when making recommendations:
- Your type and degree of hearing loss
- Your lifestyle
- How visible or discrete you’d like your hearing aids to be
- The presence of other medical conditions, such as tinnitus and dexterity issues
3. Which hearing aid is best for my type of hearing loss and lifestyle?
To understand the specifics that go into your audiologist’s hearing aid recommendation, ask them which hearing aids are the best fit for your unique type of hearing loss and lifestyle.
Individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss have a wide range of hearing aid styles available to them. If you fit into this category, more discrete styles, such as ITC, CIC, and IIC may work well for you.
Those with moderately severe to severe hearing loss will need a larger, more powerful device to get the greatest level of amplification. This makes BTE hearing aids the ideal choice in many cases. For those who feel the BTE style is too visible for their preferences, a small number of compact BTEs have appeared on the market in recent years. Alternatively, the slightly smaller ITE design may also provide enough amplification.
If you live an active lifestyle, smaller styles are likely to be a better option for you. You may also find background noise-reducing devices to be advantageous. Individuals who spend most of their time in a quiet home may be happy with a larger device and opt for hearing aids with Bluetooth technology to improve their audio and television experience.
4. What kind of maintenance do hearing aids require?
Understanding the longevity of your hearing aids and the maintenance required to extend their life can help you make an informed decision about which hearing aids are right for you. Unless you opt for rechargeable hearing aids, you will need to change the batteries frequently.
Hearing aids should also be kept dry and regularly cleaned to prolong their life.
Still have questions? Give Associated Specialists in Hearing Disorders & Hearing Aids a call today at (951) 394-7112.