Recent statistics reveal that approximately two percent of adults 45 to 54 years old have disabling hearing loss. For the age range of 55 to 64 years old, that rate increases to 8.5%.
Hearing loss directly impacts your quality of life. That is why you must choose the best hearing aid to continue to enjoy the sounds of a happy life.
To find the best one for you, these are the facts you must consider.
Hearing Aid Use
There is much to consider when choosing a hearing aid. However, before you start scoping out options, there are a few items you need to take care of.
First, get a checkup and a hearing test. A doctor may be able to recommend a correctable cause for your hearing loss. You may have an infection or too much wax.
You will want to see a hearing care provider. Seek out a reputable one. You can ask your doctor for a referral.
Choosing the Right Type of Hearing Aid
There are various styles. They differ in how they are placed in your ear but vary in size, price, and hearing aid features. Manufacturers are continually designing smaller hearing aids to meet the demands of consumers but keep in mind that the smaller they are, they may not have the power you need.
Here are various styles of hearing aids.
CIC or Mini CIC
CIC stands for “completely-in-the-canal” hearing aid. It fits inside your ear. This style helps adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Of all the CIC hearing aids, they are the smallest. Plus, they are the least visible. Usually, they do not come with added hearing aid features like a directional microphone or volume control.
One disadvantage is that it can pick up wind noise. Another disadvantage is that they use small batteries with short life spans. They are prone to earwax getting stuck in the speaker.
The “in-the-canal” hearing aid fits partly in your ear canal and is custom molded. ITC hearing aids help adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The ITC hearing aid is less visible than a larger style hearing aid, and it does offer more features than the CIC hearing aid. Still, because of its small size, it can be challenging to adjust. Like the CIC hearing aid, it is also prone to the speaker being clogged by earwax.
The “in-the-ear” hearing aid is also a custom-made type of hearing aid. It comes in two styles.
- Half shell, only filling the lower part of the ear
- Full shell, filling most of the outer ear or the bowl-shaped area
Anyone with mild to severe hearing loss can use an ITE hearing aid. They are available with directional microphones. A directional microphone has two microphones, which helps improve hearing noise.
This style can be easier to handle. It has volume control and longer battery life. The ITE hearing aid is more visible than smaller devices.
The “behind-the-ear” hearing aid rests behind the ear, hooking over the top of the ear. The custom earpiece fits in the canal but connects by a tube. This style of hearing aid works well for all ages and all types of hearing loss.
While the newer designs are more petite, traditionally the BTE hearing aid is the largest. It has directional microphones. It can amplify sounds more than other hearing aids and is available with a rechargeable battery.
RIC and RITE
The “receiver-in-canal” and “receiver-in-the-ear” styles are very similar. The receiver, or speaker, sits in the ear canal. Instead of tubing, a tiny wire connects the speaker or receiver behind the ear.
The part that sits behind the ear is usually less visible. It has directional microphones and manual control options. They can come with a rechargeable battery.
A variation of the behind-the-ear style, it has a receiver-in-the-ear or receiver-in-the-canal or a thin tube with an open dome in the ear. The open-fit style keeps the ear canal very open. This allows a natural entry for low-frequency sounds, while high-frequency sounds can be amplified.
For anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss or for anyone needing help hearing low-frequencies, the open fit is a good choice. One advantage is that your voice can sound better because it does not plug into the ear. It does not have a custom dome, though, so it may be more challenging to insert it in your ear.
Hearing Aid Features
Not all hearing aids come with these features. However, deciding which features are important to you is vital. Here are some hearing aid features you may want to consider.
All hearing aids can offer some level of noise reduction. However, it varies. Some hearing aids have wind noise reduction available.
This can give better sound pickup from noise directly in front of you while at the same time reducing noises coming from behind or beside you. In areas with a lot of background noise, directional microphones can help.
The choice of a rechargeable battery can make maintenance a lot easier. Not all hearing aids can have a rechargeable battery, so you may want to check with the one youare considering.
This fantastic feature lowers sounds coming from the area around you. It grabs the sounds from a hearing-aid-compatible telephone.
Some hearing aids today now have an interface for Bluetooth-compatible devices. This includes music players, cell phones, televisions, and computers.
An excellent potential feature is the ability to adjust features with remote control and not by touching the hearing aid. Some hearing aids can offer this, and some even allow you to connect wirelessly from a cell phone.
This allows for preprogrammed settings. It helps when adjusting to various environments, catering to your listening needs.
Some people have two hearing aids. This feature allows you to program the two to act together for more straightforward control.
If you are not sure which is the right style for you, ask for a trial period. Getting used to a hearing aid can take time. The hearing aid dispenser should be able to offer you something in writing about how the trial period will work.
Consider the Future
What if your hearing gets worse? You will want to know if you chose a type of hearing aid that can increase power. While they are not built to last forever, when you buy them, they should last about five years.
Budgeting for hearing aid costs is important, too. Consider saving for it.
Check the Warranty
It’s an essential investment for you. Make sure you choose one that covers parts and labor for some time after you buy it.
The warranty may require you to make office visits. It is best to check the warranty details and follow up accordingly.
Discover the Best Hearing Aid
First, you must meet with a hearing care provider to confirm you need a hearing aid. Then, review all the features and styles available. This will lead you to find the best hearing aid and improve your quality of life.
For over 30 years, experts at Beltone have been designing products to improve life for individuals with hearing loss. They use the latest technology for their hearing aids, including apps and accessories.
You can find the best hearing aid with Beltone. Contact Beltone today to learn more.