Once you have had your hearing tested and you have a confirmed hearing loss it might be time to consider amplification. There are a few things to consider when selecting a hearing aid.
Style of Hearing Aid:
There are several different styles of hearing aids. Some are custom made to be worn in your ears such as CICs, ITCs, ITEs while others are worn behind your ears, BTEs, and RICs for example. The next few blogs will feature one style at a time and outline the advantages and the disadvantages of each. Size, colour, and features are selected to meet the patient’s individual needs at their clinic.
The cost of hearing aids is always a large factor in your decision to buy and, it varies by clinic, manufacturer, level of technology, accessories, features, and style. The aid that is right for you depends on your lifestyle, ear canal dimensions, the degree and shape of your hearing loss and your speech testing scores. When you are purchasing a hearing aid, it is also important to choose a clinic and clinician that will work well for you. You are investing in the clinician that is going to select, program, clean, repair minor issues, fit and follow up with your hearing aids as well as performing hearing tests and check-ups. Many of these services are covered in the initial cost of the hearing aids for the 3 years that your aids are under warranty. Additional services like custom ear molds, batteries, wax removal, and repair of serious damage can cost extra.
There are several manufacturers of hearing aids including big names such as Starkey, Unitron, Oticon, Phonak, Widex, Bernafon, Sivantos (Siemens) and GN ReSound. Every clinic has access to all of these manufacturers. Some clinics may be partial to a certain manufacturer but this does not mean that they will only provide you with what is their favourite. Your Hearing Instrument Specialist will find what is best for you and your lifestyle.
Your hearing aids can come with accessories such as remotes, streaming media devices, and Bluetooth connectivity. If you have a severe to profound hearing loss where you would need a little extra help, FM systems, and ALDs (Assistive Listening Devices) may be recommended as well.
The variety of choices may seem overwhelming at the beginning. This is why it is important to choose a clinic and hearing instrument specialist that you trust to guide you through the process and be your best resource.