Hearing loss often develops gradually, making the person with the condition one of the last people to actually recognize it. The aging process can cause a number of changes to your hearing ability, but that doesn't mean that you can’t notice symptoms earlier: especially if your friends have pointed it out to you. Hearing loss is very common, affecting a fifth of the US population, and it doesn't discriminate by age, either. Many people don't see an audiologist within the first year of noticing hearing loss, and sometimes this is because they're nervous about being told that they'd need hearing aids.

What to consider

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids, and in order to get the listening experience you need from your hearing aids, you will want to consider a few things. This may include what kind of styles you are interested in, the power and features you need, as well as ease of use. Let's take a look at three things that you should consider before you commit to getting a pair of hearing aids:

Your hearing test

Before you can even begin to choose which hearing aid types will be right for you, you need an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test. They will be able to take you through the necessary testing required for you to understand whether you need hearing aids in the first place. In the event you are diagnosed with hearing loss, your audiologist will discuss your results and recommend the devices you could benefit most from, whether it’s behind-the-ear, in-the-ear or an in-the-canal variety.

Your lifestyle

There are plenty of features your hearing aids can be equipped with, and they're designed to fit seamlessly in with your lifestyle to ensure that you don't find it's interrupted by your attempts to hear! This means considering what kind of sound environments you find yourself in, whether you frequently change from loud to quiet settings, or if you are constantly immersed in noise. You also want to determine how physically active you are and what style would be a fit for these exercises, whether it’s running or swimming.

Test drive

You've had your hearing tests, and your audiologist has recommended a few hearing aid types of you to consider: but how do you choose? Here's the thing: your hearing aid choice is a very personal one, and no one can tell you which to pick. Trying them out is the best way to see what feels right, what suits your lifestyle and what will match your needs. Talk to your audiologist about your hearing aid preferences. Also, you should discuss what you hope to gain from them – other than your hearing, of course.