Hearing is an important human ability, which allows us to interact with the outside world. Hearing loss brings physical and psychological problems, which make a happy life impossible.
Fortunately, the use of hearing aids allows you to regain lost abilities and forget about these troubles. These small devices have become a lifesaver for millions of Americans.
When choosing a hearing aid, you should carefully select the appropriate model, taking into account all the features of a particular model. Our hearing aid buyer’s guide will help you understand this challenging situation and answer all your questions.
Why is it so important?
A hearing aid is a complex technical product for individual use. Both the efficiency of the device itself and the wearing comfort depend on the correctness of its choice. Make the right choice and don’t overpay. Otherwise, you simply will not be able to use the device and the problem of hearing loss will not be solved.
Choosing a hearing aid might be a daunting task, especially for beginners who are completely inexperienced in this matter. For an experienced user, it is much easier to solve the problem. Such a person already knows all the pros and cons of a model that has been in use for a long time.
The experience will allow you to easily choose either a similar device or a model with additional functions. But, you will most likely be intimidated by the difference in types of hearing aids and the variety of their functionality, if this is your first time. Therefore, it is best to consult an experienced professional. It is important to provide as much detail as possible about your expectations, lifestyle, and the typical acoustic environments you find yourself in.
At Audiology Island we have a lot of experience working with all the hearing aids that are available on the market today, therefore we can recommend the most suitable and high-quality products to our patients.
Modern models have many additional features, which increase their efficiency and comfort. However, this also affects the final cost. The more features a device has the higher its price. Choose only those additional features that you need if you want to save money. You can also buy hearing aids online if you have already decided on the device model. This will save you even more money. However, make sure that you are looking at an online shop with a reputable clinic that will offer additional programming services either in the clinic or remotely.
Let’s take a closer look at hearing aid features that you should pay attention to when choosing a device.
Hearing aid features that really work
Today digital hearing aid technology is at a very high level. Besides, manufacturers are not standing still, releasing more and more advanced models. Thanks to this rapid development, modern hearing aids have several features, which will surely surprise you. Our hearing care professional, Dr. Stella Fulman has selected the most useful additional functions that are very popular among patients.
Noise reduction (ANR) is one of the most important functions. For example, basic devices without noise cancellation are not suitable for active people who are often in noisy environments and like social events. The hearing aid divides external sounds into two categories: speech and noise.
It detects, for example, the sounds of the wind, engine noise, the hum of voices i.e. the daily noise, which drowns out the useful sounds you want to hear. Digital hearing aid technology mutes ambient noise and allows you to hear the other person’s speech even in the loudest environments.
Hearing aids can cause some sound problems, such as whistling or beeping. It’s called feedback. The feature sometimes interferes with the normal use of the device. A person is afraid that the people around him will hear this.
The presence of a feedback suppression system solves such problems. It should be noted that almost all modern hearing aids are equipped with feedback suppression systems. That is why, provided that the devices are correctly selected and used according to the instructions, the problem of high-frequency whistling is quite rare.
Adaptive hearing aid technology
It’s a very important feature to improve the usability of hearing aids. A modern person leads an active lifestyle, so during the day, we have to be in both noisy and quiet environments. Adaptive hearing aid technology automatically adjusts device settings to improve performance. You no longer need to increase/decrease the volume of the device. It will do everything by itself.
An important feature of technology is the operation of four microphones at once, located in pairs in each hearing aid (two microphones in one device). When the directional microphone system is activated, the device focuses on the direction of the sound source. It means that the user hears the sound coming from a source in the field of view. During this time, sounds at the periphery are suppressed. No unnecessary noise, no interference.
Bluetooth wireless technology
The function is useful for people actively using various modern gadgets. It enables the hearing aid to receive signals from other devices, such as a smartphone, computer, TV, etc.
T-coil technology (Telecoil)
The technology allows you to hear external sounds without background noise. The entire system requires an induction loop and a hearing aid with Telecoil technology. The induction loop transmits audio signals (eg music, TV broadcasts, radio announcements) without interference to the hearing aid due to electromagnetic conduction.
Induction systems are installed in concert halls, airports, cinemas, schools, theaters, churches, lecture halls, train stations, and other facilities. Those who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids are allowed to communicate with people in public places and get the information they need.
Some modern devices are equipped with a waterproof case. Thanks to this, waterproof hearing aids are not prone to moisture. They allow the wearers to enjoy water treatments (swim in the pool, take a shower) without removing the devices. Also, if all recommendations are followed, additional moisture protection can extend the life of your hearing aids.
A power source is very important for any hearing aid. You don’t want your devices to go silent in the middle of a workday or at an important meeting, do you? Therefore, you should always make sure that your devices have enough power to operate. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a hearing aid, which works with either disposable batteries or rechargeable ones.
Today there are several types of hearing aid batteries, varying in size, capacity, and price. Regardless, you should always have spare power supplies with you, in case your hearing aid suddenly becomes silent. In this respect, devices with rechargeable batteries are much more convenient, albeit more expensive. You just put your hearing aids on charge every night before bed, and that’s it.
It’s another feature, which significantly improves the comfort of use. Save device settings for different tasks and simply switch hearing aid programs. The device will automatically change its operation according to the previously set parameters.
A hearing aid is not an entertainment gadget, but a rehabilitation tool, which affects the brain and perception. But it is important to understand that only the right model will give the best result, so you should not “self-medicate”.
Only seek help from experienced professionals. Audiology Island has already helped many Americans recover their hearing, and your smile is our best reward!
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]