You’ve made the decision to seek treatment for your hearing loss, and now the time has come to determine which hearing aid is best for you. Where do you begin?
Here are 15 questions about hearing aids (and their answers!) to think about.
1. What type of hearing loss do I have?
There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Based on your audiogram, your hearing specialist at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Centers will be able to determine the type of hearing loss you are experiencing and will recommend hearing aids to meet these needs.
2. What degree of hearing loss do I have?
From your audiogram, your hearing specialist will determine the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing, from mild to profound. Hearing aids are designed to meet a range of degrees of hearing loss.
3. What type of hearing aid do I want?
Consider your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. If you wear glasses, take this into consideration, as some hearing aids are worn behind-the-ear, which may interfere with the position of your glasses. All hearing aids consist of the same components: microphone, amplifier, receiver, battery, volume control, and electrical components. In-the-ear hearing aids house all of these components in one unit, while behind-the-ear hearing aids have two or three distinct, connected parts.
There are many models, sizes, and styles available. Taking into consideration your degree and configuration of hearing loss, your hearing specialist will provide you with a number of options.
4. Will hearing aids worsen your hearing?
Hearing actually happens in the brain, and with hearing loss, your brain struggles to make sense of unclear sound signals.
Hearing aids do not worsen your hearing; in fact, they have been proven by studies to improve the way your brain functions. With hearing loss, the brain struggles to make sense of incoming sound signals. Hearing aids assist by amplifying and organizing these sounds.
5. Do I have to buy two hearing aids?
It depends on the degree of hearing in your ears. With a hearing test, your results are recorded by individual ear. Your hearing specialist will determine whether you need one or two hearing aids. If you have bilateral hearing loss, then you will need two hearing aids.
6. Are hearing aids easy to control?
Generally speaking, yes.
Depending on the style of hearing aid, some are easier to control than others. In general, the controls are quite small, but most new hearing aids are compatible with your smartphone, which allows you to make adjustments through a simple app. Be sure to mention concerns you may have with dexterity, as well as conditions that might hinder you from controlling your hearing aid with ease, such as arthritis.
7. What if I have an active lifestyle?
Depending on your needs, your hearing specialist will recommend hearing aids that are water resistant and have longer battery life. If you are out and about all day, or if you run, sail, hike, cycle, etc., talk to your hearing specialist about hearing aids that will complement your lifestyle.
8. What about batteries?
Hearing aids require batteries to run, and depending on the frequency of use, batteries need to be replaced weekly or biweekly. There are also rechargeable hearing aids, which come with a recharging station. With these, you simply place your hearing aids into the unit overnight and wake up to fully charged hearing aids.
9. Where do I store my hearing aids?
Your hearing aids require a cool, dry place for storage, preferably overnight. Your hearing specialist may recommend units that dehumidify and recharge your hearing aids while you sleep.
10. Can I connect my hearing aids to other devices?
It depends on the hearing aid, but for the most part, yes! Most new hearing aid models provide a Bluetooth or wireless connection to your smartphone or tablet or home entertainment systems. This allows you to stream sounds from phone calls and other media directly to your hearing aids!
11. What options are available with assistive listening devices?
Ask your hearing specialist about the hearing aid’s compatibility with induction loops, infrared, and FM assistive listening devices.
12. Can I fix my hearing aids on my own?
If your aids require repair, we recommend that you bring in your hearing aids. Hearing aids are sensitive electronic instruments that require incisive repair when necessary. Do not attempt to fix your hearing aid on your own!
13. How often must I clean my hearing aids?
It really does depend on your lifestyle! Your hearing specialist will give you instructions on daily care for your hearing aids. Ask us about our repair and maintenance services.
14. How do I know if my hearing aids work?
When you are fitted for your hearing aids, your hearing specialist will give you pointers on testing your hearing and hearing aid functions once they are on. One easy tip: when you insert your hearing aids in the morning, rub your hands together gently next to each ear to ensure that the sound is functioning properly.
15. What if my hearing abilities change?
In the event that your hearing abilities change, and you require more out of a hearing aid, you may want to consider a new pair. However, if you want to know if your current hearing aids accommodate higher degrees of hearing loss, ask your hearing specialist!
At Neighborhood Hearing Aid Centers, our friendly team will support you through the process of finding the perfect hearing aid to meet your needs. Contact us today for a consultation and hearing evaluation.