Hearing Aid Features to Consider
You’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss: now what?
The next step after a hearing loss test is choosing the hearing aid that best fits your lifestyle, cost point and type and degree of hearing loss.
Questions to ask
With so many types of hearing aids available on the market, how do you know where to start? The best way to narrow down the hearing aid that is most suitable for you is to discuss with your audiologist the needs and wants you have from a hearing aid. Points of conversation include:
- Your price point: How much money can you spend on a pair of hearing aids?
- Your lifestyle: Are you active or more sedentary? Do you play sports? Do you have children or grandchildren? Are you in noisy environments?
- Your dexterity: Are you able to manipulate small dials or buttons?
- Your personal style: Do you like to make a statement or would you prefer a less nuanced or more hidden hearing aid?
After answering the aforementioned questions, your audiologist will likely detail all of the features hearing aids have. Key features include:
- Directional microphones: Some hearing aids come equipped with a switch that will activate a directional microphone, enabling someone to hear sound from a specific direction better. This feature helps with face-to-face conversations or while in a noisy room.
- Telephone/telecoil switch: The telecoil or telephone switch enables a person to hear better while talking on the telephone. The feature can be used with telecoil-compatible settings, which often include theaters, auditoriums, houses of worship or museums.
- Direct audio input: This feature allows people to connect their hearing aids directly to a television, computer, CD player, MP3 player, smartphone or radio.
- Bluetooth: More advanced than direct audio input is the Bluetooth feature. This allows the hearing aid to connect to devices via Bluetooth.
These are but a few of the main features most hearing aids offer. Other features include wind noise reduction, data logging, learning features and binaural processing.
Selecting the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget can feel overwhelming, but rest assured your hearing care provider will be able to guide you in the right direction. They will discuss the top features you can benefit from and work to find you the perfect device for your needs.