How to Choose The Right Hearing Aid Style For Your Needs2021-02-18 If you’re considering purchasing hearing aids, you’ve probably been introduced to an overwhelming selection of styles and options.
While an audiologist will be happy to help steer you in the right direction, the final decision partly comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.
With multiple reputable brands offering a variety of different styles, we wanted to give you a guide to choosing a hearing aid style that best suits your needs.
Determine Your Level of Hearing Loss
Different hearing aid styles serve different hearing loss levels, so it’s important to take a hearing test before you begin looking at different types of hearing aids. You can either schedule an appointment with an audiologist or take a hearing test online to gauge your current situation.
If you have profound hearing loss, you might consider a behind-the-ear hearing aid (BTE) model that’s slightly bigger and more powerful.
For mild or moderate hearing loss, you can choose a smaller hearing aid such as the in-the-canal (ITC) style.
Consider Your Activity Level
Another factor that will play into your hearing aid decision is how active you are. For example, if you are relatively sedentary, you can use a BTE hearing aid or receiver-in-canal (RIC) model.
However, if you are very active, you may require a more secure model, such as a completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid.
Even with hearing loss, you can still be an athlete. Plenty of notable athletes such as David Smith (USA Volleyball), Tamika Catchings (USA Basketball), and Jeff Float (USA Swimming), wear hearing aids. Many world-class athletes claim that hearing aids are just another tool they use for their sport.
Regardless of your activity level, you can wear hearing aids and succeed.
Think About Dexterity
Up to 75 percent of people that struggle with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from sensorineural hearing loss. Therefore, if you struggle with dexterity, make sure that the hearing aids are easy to handle.
For example, in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are relatively easy to manipulate, whereas completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids may be difficult to handle.
You can also use a hearing aid like the Phonak Lyric, which remains inside your ear unless adjusted by an audiologist.
Many patients are reluctant to purchase hearing aids as they don’t want a bulky device. Fortunately, hearing aid technology has advanced, and current models are much more refined. However, there is still a wide selection of hearing aids, and some are more visible than others.
For example, the Phonak Lyric is the first completely invisible hearing aid. An audiologist must insert it, though many people appreciate the discreet nature of this hearing aid and are happy to visit their audiologist for regular adjustments.
The only downside to invisible hearing aids is that they often are less powerful than the larger, more visible hearing aids.
Give One a Try
Purchasing a hearing aid is a very personal decision, and while your audiologist can make medical recommendations, the end decision must be made by you. Most clinics allow a trial period for you to try out their hearing aids. If the sound quality is fine, but the model doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, don’t hesitate to call your audiologist and discuss alternative solutions.