Where am I having difficulty hearing? How often am I in those situations? What features should I have on my hearing aids?
Hearing aids may have different features to reduce background noise, assist with hearing over a telephone or filter out continuous background sounds. Generally, the more expensive the hearing aid, the more features the hearing aid has and the more sophisticated the technology (for example, a more expensive hearing aid would be better able to reduce background noise).
Choosing the appropriate hearing aid features or technology is based mostly on your lifestyle. Two people can have exactly the same type and degree of hearing loss, but because they live very different lifestyles, an audiologist may not recommend the exact same hearing aid. When deciding on which features or level of technology are most appropriate for you, you should consider:
- How many different listening environments am I in over the course of a week?
- Do I spend most of my time at home?
- Do I go out to restaurants frequently?
- Do I attend group meetings?
- Do I go to the theater or orchestra frequently?
- Do I want the hearing aid to make adjustments automatically, or do I want to control the hearing aid?
When choosing hearing aids, think about your lifestyle and the different listening environments you are in on a daily basis.
If you lead an ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you:
- Go to dinner in busy restaurants frequently
- Attend large family functions regularly
- Are active in meetings and other social events
- Lead a busy life indoors and outdoors
If you lead an ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need the BEST performance from hearing aids.
BEST performance = PREMIUM hearing aids:
- Automatically adjust to many different listening environments
- Are most effective at reducing background noise for the best hearing in noisy places
- Are great for listening to music
- Can be Bluetooth-compatible
If you lead a MODERATELY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you:
- Attend group meetings frequently
- Attend small family gatherings
- Are rarely in busy restaurants or large groups
- Want improved hearing in many situations, automatically
If you lead a MODERATELY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need BETTER performance from hearing aids.
BETTER performance = ADVANCED hearing aids:
- Automatically adapt to the listening environment
- Are effective at reducing background noise
- Are equally suited for both quiet and noisy places
- Automatic telephone feature available
- Can be Bluetooth-compatible
If you lead a LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you:
- Spend most of your time in quiet environments (talking to one or two people, watching TV, etc.)
- Attend small meetings occasionally
- Want good sound quality and speech understanding
If you lead a LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, you need GOOD performance from hearing aids.
GOOD performance = BASIC hearing aids:
- Feature automatic or manual adjustment to the listening environment
- Are best suited for quiet places but can be used in some noisy places
- Offer affordability
Q: Do you have arthritis or numbness in your hand or fingers?
A: If you answered yes, then you should consider a larger hearing aid style, such as an in-the-ear or behind-the-ear, as these are easier to manipulate and the batteries are larger. You may also want to consider an automatic model so you do not have to adjust the small controls on the hearing aid.
Q: How frequently are you in noisy places like restaurants, small groups or family gatherings (every day, few times a week, occasionally, never)?
A: If you are in these situations every day, you should consider a premium hearing aid. If you are in these places a few times a week, you should consider a mid-level/mid-level-advanced hearing aid. If you are in these situations occasionally, you should consider a mid-level hearing aid. Finally, if you are rarely or never in these places, you should consider a basic hearing aid.
Q: How much hearing loss do you have?
A: If you have a severe to profound hearing loss, you must consider a behind-the-ear hearing aid. If you have a mild to severe hearing loss, you should consider an in-the-ear or behind-the-ear hearing aid. If you have a high-frequency (pitch) hearing loss, you should consider a mini BTE hearing aid. Finally, if you have mild to moderate hearing loss, any hearing aid style may be appropriate for you.
Q: How many different listening environments are you in on a typical day (at home, watching TV, talking to one or two people, talking in a small group, talking in a large group, meetings, lectures, listening to music, restaurants, etc.)
A: The more listening environments you are in, the higher the level of technology (mid-level-advanced or premium). If you are in only a few different listening environments, then the mid-level or basic hearing aid may be appropriate.
Q: Do you have impaired or poor vision?
A: If yes, you may want to consider a larger hearing aid (due to the larger battery size) and an automatic model so you do not have adjust the small controls on the hearing aid.