Choosing the Best Hearing AidPosted on December 6, 2013 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Caregiver Education, Hearing Loss
Choosing the best hearing aid is like choosing any product – it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons of the many hearing aids on the market.
Choosing the best hearing aid is like choosing the best car, refrigerator or stereo; it’s about choosing the device that most suits the patient’s needs. Thanks to new developments in hearing aid technology, smaller and less obvious hearing aids now pack even more power into their tiny equipment. Digital technology offers the ability to amplify quiet sounds without distorting loud sounds, making it easier for patients to hear everyday conversations, enjoy music and participate in every day events.
Choosing the Best Hearing Aid When evaluating the various hearing aid options, consider the pros and cons of each.
Battery life: In general, the smaller hearing aids that fit into the ear have the shortest battery life. For some patients, hiding the hearing aid in the ear canal outweighs the annoyance of changing batteries frequently. Other patients may consider the battery life of hearings aids more important and choose another larger model with a proportionately larger battery that needs less frequently updates.Size: Size matters in terms of hearing aids. Smaller hearing aids may provide less amplification of sounds. It’s important to consult with an audiologist, a specialist in hearing, to discover the best hearing aid options for a particular patient’s circumstances.Cost: Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids, but private insurance might, so check plans carefully. Some audiologists offer payment plans.
Hearing Aid Basics for Comparison Shopping To truly evaluate the costs and benefits of various hearing aids, as well as weed our misleading claims, consider the following:
Warranty: A good warranty covers parts, maintenance and repairs for a specific time period. Check and compare warranty claims among various hearing aid brands.Claims: If a hearing aid company claims it can fully restore hearing, be skeptical. While hearing aids can greatly help hearing loss and uncover many lost sounds, they cannot restore perfect hearing.One-size-fits-all: Like eyeglasses, one type of hearing aid won’t work for everyone. Only an audiologist can examine the patient’s hearing and recommend specific types of hearing aids to correct for hearing loss. Just as an optometrist doesn’t prescribe the exact same lenses to every patient with nearsightedness, so too will an audiologist recommend different options depending upon the patient’s hearing loss.
Adjusting to a Hearing AidEven the best hearing aids require an adjustment period. The National Institute of Deafness cautions patients to expect certain things: their own voices may sound too loud, a whistling sound may be noted, or some sounds may be too loud or too soft. While an audiologist may be able to adjust the hearing aid to compensate for this, some problems may be inevitable. Patients are advised to be patient and try to get used to their new hearing aids.
Hearing aids can open up a world that was once closed to patients by introducing sound into their lives. They can improve the quality of life for senior citizens and help many participate in normal daily life, making everything from trips to the grocery store to church meetings easier to navigate. When choosing the best hearing aids, be sure to evaluate and comparison shop, working with an audiologist to discover truly what’s the best hearing aid to improve hearing loss.
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