What Do I Need to Consider When Choosing a Hearing Aid?
When selecting the correct hearing aid for your needs, it’s important to consider a number of factors, including:
- your hearing loss type and level
- your current health
- conditions of hearing
- hearing preservation
- your lifestyle
- your budget
See also our Guide to Hearing Loss and Hearing Aid Prescription
Your Hearing Loss Level
Hearing Loss level is an most important factor in determining the style of hearing aid that’s best for you.
- Mild hearing loss means smaller hearing aids will be sufficient.
- More severe hearing loss requires a more powerful aid with larger batteries.
In addition to the strength of amplification you require, it is important to consider something we call ‘spatial sound’. This is a term used to define the low-level background noise that helps us to determine where sounds come from and which sounds we need to listen to.
Some modern hearing aids offer advanced spatial sound enhancement features that greatly improve your ability to sort the important sounds from those that you can safely ignore.
Effects of Ear Wax
Ear wax is a normal function of the ear’s natural cleaning process. However, too much of it will call for a more wax-proof model of hearing aid that is easier to clean.
Similarly, if you live somewhere humid or have a high level of physical activity, you’ll need a more moisture-repellent style of hearing aid.
One Hearing Aid or Two?
For most people, hearing loss occurs in both ears. Ensuring both ears work as well as they can makes it easier to understand speech in noisy environments and to keep track of what is happening around you.
Modern hearing aids are purpose-built to support hearing from both sides. The two aids communicate wirelessly with each other and constantly compare information. This enables them to “fill in the gaps” in your sound picture – including sounds you didn’t even know you weren’t hearing!
Preserving Your Hearing
As well as enhancing the quality of your hearing, using two hearing aids can help to preserve your hearing.
If you have hearing loss on both sides – even if one ear works significantly better than the other – it is still important to treat both ears. Should you choose to only treat the ear that needs it most, the hearing in your other ear may get progressively worse.
Your lifestyle plays an important role in selecting the right device for your day-to-day living. We consider whether you are retired, working or a student. Are you someone who is socially active, catching up with family/friends regularly through the week at cafes, restaurants, parties, clubs, theaters, golf, etc.
Some hearing aids perform better in environments with noisy backgrounds. See Hearing Aid Performance for more detail.