Hearing aids are big investments, both financially and in terms of time commitment. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you get the best hearing aid to suit your hearing and lifestyle needs. However, there are so many choices, this decision can easily become overwhelming. Fortunately, you have an audiologist to walk with you every step of the way.
Below we review how an audiologist will help you choose the right hearing aid for your lifestyle.
1. Get a Hearing Test
The first step of getting a hearing aid is to get a hearing test. Hearing tests are conducted in audiologists’ offices and may be comprised of several smaller tests such as:
- Pure tone audiometry.
- Bone conduction testing.
- Speech-in-noise testing.
- Acoustic reflex testing.
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR).
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs).
The results of your hearing test are plotted on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss that shows how loud sounds have to be in each frequency range in order for you to hear them.
2. Hearing Aid Selection
Your audiologist will use your audiogram to select a type of hearing aid. Some hearing aids are better suited for certain types and degrees of hearing loss. Common hearing aid styles include:
- Behind the ear/mini behind the ear
- Receiver in the ear/receiver in the canal
- In the ear/low profile
- In the canal
- Completely in the canal
- Invisible in the canal
A person with more severe hearing loss would likely need a larger model, like a behind-the-ear hearing aid, while a person with milder hearing loss could benefit from a smaller model, like an invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid.
3. Lifestyle Needs Assessment
After selecting a type of hearing aid that will work well for you, your audiologist will conduct a lifestyle needs assessment. During this process, they’ll ask you what types of activities you enjoy.
If you mostly enjoy staying home, visiting the library and attending small book clubs, you will likely need fewer hearing aid features than someone who works a demanding job, attends conferences and enjoys dinner parties at The Wheel Barrel.
Your audiologist will review what features are available with the type of hearing aid they’ve selected for you as well as which you’re most likely to benefit from based on your lifestyle needs assessment. Popular features in today’s devices include:
- Discreet designs
- Smartphone compatibility
- Background noise reduction
- Automatic programming
- And more!
For more information about choosing a hearing aid based on your lifestyle or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Topeka ENT today.