If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, then you know just how important it is to choose the right everyday devices to keep you healthier. Fit, comfort, practicality…there’s plenty to consider, and the best hearing aid option varies by person.
Picking the right hearing aid is just as important — and with all the makes and models available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That said, a hearing specialist can help guide you through the process and whittle down the options to a few that might suit you.
First, here’s an overview of some common types of hearing aids. They’re named according to where they rest:
Behind-the-ear (BTE). This style sits behind the ear, like a pair of eyeglasses.
In-the-ear (ITE). This version rests inside the ear, but outside the ear canal.
In-the-canal (ITC). This model goes a little deeper into the ear — partially inside the ear canal — making it less visible than the previous type.
Completely-in-canal (CIC). Even smaller than an ITC hearing aid, a CIC device sits entirely in the ear canal and is nearly undetectable.
Your ideal style will be largely dependent on several factors, including your lifestyle, degree of hearing loss and personal preferences. To choose a device, you’ll first want a consultation with a specialist, who’ll give you a hearing test and ask you some questions to point you in the right direction.
To make the most of your consultation, you might want to think about these questions:
What do I want out of my hearing aid? Whether you simply want to hear the television or you’d like to pick up the subtle sounds of an activity like bird watching will make a difference. You should also tell your doc if you spend lots of time on the telephone, since certain makes and models interact differently with phones.
What feels comfortable? A good provider will let you check out a few different style of hearing aid if you like.
What training will I need? When purchased through a reputable healthcare provider, your hearing aid will be customized to you, both in terms of programming and fit. In addition, you should expect to be trained on how to use, care for, clean and adjust your device.
No matter what kind of hearing aid you prefer, the key is to visit a doc as soon as possible when you believe you might be suffering hearing loss. Bring a friend or family member if you’re a little uncomfortable and want some support. Our team is here for you when you need us — so call us for a consultation, and we’ll guide you through the process to help make the best decision for you.
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