Latest posts by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)
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The thought of selecting hearing aids can feel quite overwhelming – with so many acronyms, features and technical language, it’s hard to know where to start. While you won’t be going through the process of choosing aids on your own once you start working with us, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of hearing aids and how you envision your aids to look, feel and sound. Follow these tips to help you better understand your purchase.
Consider the things you love to do.
When selecting hearing aids, the goal is to find devices you can wear all the time. It is important to think about the types of activities you enjoy – so you can narrow in on features that support that type of environment. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy jogging and yoga – you may want to first consider more durable hearing aids that are more resistant to dirt and moisture, or ones that specialize in reducing wind noise. If you often participate in conference calls for work or love to talk to your granddaughter on the phone, hearing aids that have streaming services direct to your cell phone may be where you focus.
Understand hearing aid sizes and styles.
Some clients come into our office seeking the smallest and least visible hearing aids possible. There are currently some remarkable invisible hearing aids on the market that are packed with powerful features. While micro hearing aids are appealing, it is important to consider their trade-off. With smaller hearing aids come smaller batteries – thus shorter battery life. For some users a behind-the-ear or –receiver-in-canal are better options because fewer battery changes means less hassle. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some clients seek bright and fun hearing aids that can express their personalities. Luckily, there is a vast array of hearing aid styles, sizes and colors to suit all preferences. It is important to note, however, that not all hearing aid styles are appropriate for all degrees of hearing loss.
Consider which technology you truly want.
Today’s hearing aids are pretty impressive – and quite techie. Some are completely Bluetooth compatible, some come with apps that allow completely customizable listening settings, while others use apps and other devices to offer powerful relief for those with tinnitus. Considering which tech features you actually need, can help you sort through what may just be “fluff” for you. There is no need to spend additional money or energy on features or technologies that you won’t actually use. A good place to start is to consider the level of technology you are currently comfortable with – and what you are realistically willing to learn in order to access a particular feature.
Have a spending plan.
While extremely valuable and life changing, hearing aids are still quite a financial investment and are unfortunately not covered under Medicaid or many health insurance plans. We are proud to offer multiple affordable financing options to help lessen the upfront costs, however, it is still important to consider a payment plan. Being realistic and prepared for a monthly budget to pay for your hearing aids will allow a less stressful process.
Think about what really matters to you.
This is an important one. We will work with you to help you find the perfect hearing aids that include the features you need, and meet your style and budget preferences, however, it is essential to consider which aspects of your aids are most important to you. Is it imperative your hearing aids offer stellar tinnitus relief? Is finding a discreet hearing aid what is most important to you? Do you really want hearing aids that can directly stream phone calls? Or do you have a specific budget in mind that you don’t want to exceed? When looking into hearing aids, considering the aspect that matters most, and which are deal-breakers will be instrumental in helping us narrow down our options to help pick the right aids to meet your needs.
Know there is an adjustment period.
When you get home and wear your hearing aids for the very first time – don’t panic if your experience isn’t exactly what you were expecting. Even with the perfect hearing aids, there will be a bit of an adjustment period. Some sounds may feel extremely noisy or you might not like the sound of your own voice. If this happens, don’t stress – it can take multiple weeks for you to fully adjust to your new hearing aids. Understanding that there may be a few growing pains before starting will help you avoid being disappointed later on.