It is very common that you will lose some of your hearing as you grow older. This is a very common phenomenon and, in fact, about one in three people of the 65 to 74 age demographic experience some sort of hearing loss due to aging. This is known as presbycusis. On top of age, there are also other things that come into play. This includes things like changes that have taken place within the inner ear, damage to the ears from excessive exposure to loud noises, medications, and other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
The more startling statistic is the fact that, out of every five people who could really use a hearing aid, one only actually uses the device. Let us now take a closer look at the things you ought to take into consideration when buying a new hearing aid.
The Two Main Types
It is true that hearing aids are not able to restore hearing back to its normal state. However, what they can do is help amplify sounds and also reduce the level of background noise so that the user is better able to make sense of the environment they are in. This includes being able to converse with other people, being able to participate in group activities, watching TV, and also improving sound sensitivity for safety purposes.
While there are a lot of different types of hearing aids available in the market today, there are two main differences that you have to consider. The first one is the one for daily wear and the other type is the one for extended-wear usage.
Hearing aids Daily Wear. this is a type of hearing aid which the user will be able to put in and take out. Normally, people will put on this type of hearing aid early in the morning and then take them off before bedtime at night. These types of hearing aids can be used when you conduct most of your daily activities and they are also resistant to water. The times when you should definitely take them off are when you go swimming or you take a shower. The style range of these devices is from BTE models to ITE models. BTE stands for behind-the-ear and ITE stands for Inside-the-ear.
Hearing Aids: Extended Wear. This type of hearing aid is not visible to others and they are placed inside the ears by a professional audiologist. This type of hearing aid sits very close to the eardrum. As a result, it can be worn for a very long time without having to change any batteries or anything else. The batteries will typically last from about one to about three months. You can have this device on yourself when you are taking a shower but do not go swimming with these hearing aids on.
Know what your individual listening needs are.
Are there particular situations in which you experience difficulty in hearing? It is very important to know what specific hearing problems you have. This is required so that the audiologist is able to make the best possible decisions when you get a hearing aid.
Try to think of the situations in which you face the most difficulties with hearing. It could be when you are conversing with family and friends, when you are alone or when you are at work. Make sure that this information is then passed on to your audiologist. Experts also recommend that you work with a team that will be able to give you not just a hearing test but will be able to make sense of your entire type of hearing loss.
Realize that just because it worked for someone else, it may not work for you
Hearing aids are definitely not devices where the one-size-fits-all process will work. A hearing aid may work fine for your friend but it does not mean it will work properly when it comes to you. You also ought to realize that just because a hearing aid is very pricey or has been advertised as being high-tech, does not mean it will be able to meet your specific needs.
Audiologists frequently complain that a lot of people who are hearing impaired will often want a hearing aid just because they saw it on TV or because someone they know is wearing one. However, that is just not how hearing aids work. Just to give you some perspective, know that you yourself may have different hearing needs from your two different ears.
You Can Try Out Different Hearing Aids
Yes, choosing a hearing aid device can be a little overwhelming. However, there is some good news and that is that you are not bound to get locked into a purchase decision. Hearing aids ought to be considered as an investment in yourself and they normally come with a trial period. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can return them after the 45 day trial period.
The trial period is a particularly good time to get to know if your chosen hearing aid will be able to cut it for you or not. You really ought to reflect on how your hearing has changed after you got your hearing aid. You should be able to tell if you are getting the desired results from your purchase or not. Some people, for example, those who have arthritis, may often find it difficult to use hearing aids of the daily wear variety. They may instead want to go for the lower maintenance that is required for extended-wear hearing aids.
It is recommended that you go to your audiologist at least a couple of times during this trial period. This will allow your particular audiologist to fine-tune the device so that it is better able to meet your particular needs.