If you’ve been told you need hearing aids, but don’t know where to start, we have seven features you should consider before making a decision.
- Noise Reduction
Ask if the hearing aid you’ve been recommended has more than one microphone to help better identify the sounds you need to hear. Using more than one microphone is the only proven way to improve speech understanding in noise.
There are three types of directionality systems you can find in hearing aids – adaptive, fixed and dynamic.
- Adaptive directionality identifies people talking all around you and focus on where speech is coming from.
- Fixed directional systems are locked on the sound that is right in front of you.
- Dynamic directionality features programming that automatically changes from listening all around you to a fixed direction as you need it.
Ask about the noise reduction programming. Noise reduction is controlled by a microprocessor that can distinguish between high-frequency sounds (like speech) and low-frequency sounds (like background noise). The on-board computer prioritises speech and suppresses distracting noise.
Some hearing aids do this better than others.
Feedback happens whenever you have microphones in close proximity to speakers. They are the squeals and whistles you might hear.
Feedback control is essential because it makes hearing aids much more comfortable to wear. All modern hearing aids have feedback control but some are much better than others.
Talk to your audiologist about your lifestyle for recommendations on hearing aids with the best feedback control.
Hearing aids do more than simply amplify sound, they are impressive pieces of technology. They are designed to help you hear better in a wider range of situations.
Your audiologist will be able to go through the programming capabilities, including pre-programmed settings you can use in different circumstances, like at a restaurant versus at home.
One of the new innovations in hearing aids is streaming technology such as Bluetooth. This means your hearing aids can connect wirelessly to televisions, computers and mobile phones.
The streaming technology can also provide advantages such as remote volume control via smartphone apps. This opens up the opportunity for future benefits such as remote support and troubleshooting.
It’s important to understand the features and limitations of Bluetooth and how it might be a helpful convenience.
Hearing aids come in many different shapes and sizes – and you might be surprised at how small and discreet they are.
Not every hearing aid style is going to suit everyone. It all depends on your type of hearing loss and even the shape of your ears and ear canal.
Your audiologist will be able to make recommendations best for you.
If you’ve been recommended a specific hearing aid, shop around for the best price before you sign on the dotted line. The hearing aid industry is not regulated and there is no uniform pricing on the same make and model of hearing aids. We have more essential consumer information in our Hearing Aid Buyer’s Guide – a books we’ve made available for you to download here.
Next, you need to know whether the price you’ve been quoted includes a quality aftercare service. High quality aftercare includes a money back guarantee, a three year warranty, six monthly follow up reminders, as well as batteries and other consumables.
Armed with this information, you can make an informed choice on which hearing aid is right for you in conjunction with your audiologist.