When you are diagnosed as having hearing loss by a hearing health professional, it is now time to purchase a hearing aid. Hearing aids come in a wide variety of styles, and when there's so many to choose from, you've got to pick the best one for you. How do you choose the best hearing aid for your needs?

Understanding the different styles

Depending on your specific level of hearing loss, you may be able to choose from a few different types of hearing aid. There are six main types:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid: This is one of the most common. 
  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid, which sits in the bowl of the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITE) hearing aid, which is a smaller version of the ITE model.
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest type. 
  • Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid is smaller than BTE models and offer a wide variety of high-tech features. 
  • CROS or BiCROS devices help people with unaidable hearing loss in one ear by receiving sound on that side and transmitting it to a hearing aid in the other ear.

Choosing the right features for your lifestyle

Depending on the hearing aid, you may be able to select a wide range of custom features. There are a wide variety of features, but they are not compatible with every hearing aid:

  • Noise reduction works to reduce background noise and improve your understanding of speech.
  • Directional microphones allow noises in front of you to sound louder than those behind you.
  • Rechargeable batteries are beneficial as you place them in the charger at the end of the day.
  • Telecoils, which are sensors that pick up magnetic signals to pick up on hearing loops found in various locations, such as a theater.
  • Environmental noise control, which allows you to change settings depending on your environment.
  • Connectivity, which refers to wireless connections to smartphones or televisions using Bluetooth.
  • Remote controls allow you to change volume and other settings without removing your hearing aid.
  • Direct audio input allows you to connect directly to an audio source, like a television.
  • Variable programming allows your hearing aid to adapt according to your surroundings and preferences.
  • Synchronization, which refers to the use of hearing aid with apps and accessories.

Before you purchase your hearing aid

It's important to explore the options to get an understanding of what will work best for you. When considering the right hearing aid, you need to not just think about your current needs, but your future needs too. Inquire if the hearing aid can increase its power so if your hearing gets worse, it still remains useful. It is usually possible to get a trial period, so you can get used to the device. 

Once you've purchased your hearing aid, it could take some time to get used to it. You need to practice using the hearing aid in different environments, but also remember that a hearing health professional can provide you with important guidance to get used to your hearing aid and make the most of it.