Healthcare solutions should be highly personalized
Every individual is unique, which means that every individual has a unique experience with their health. In our industry, we find that hearing loss experiences can vary widely from patient to patient — the level of their hearing loss, how symmetrical or asymmetrical it is, and, most importantly, how hearing loss impacts their life.
With health being such an individual experience, healthcare should follow suit, no matter the industry or type of care being provided. When it comes to hearing loss, we aim to find solutions that will fit our patients’ unique lifestyles, whether that be hearing aids or another option.
One question we get a lot when discussing hearing aid options with patients is, “What is the best hearing aid?” And, while it seems simple, it’s really more complicated than that. The “best” hearing aid for each individual is likely different, and there are some essential factors to consider when choosing a brand or style of hearing aid.
How do I pick the best hearing aid for me?
The journey to finding a hearing aid style that works best for you starts with the help of a hearing test and an exam conducted by a hearing care professional. With so many different types of hearing aids available, leveraging the knowledge of an expert is key to ensuring you pick the best option.
There are three key things you and your hearing care provider will evaluate together when picking a hearing aid style for you: your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and the cause of your hearing loss.
Hearing loss level
One of the more critical things to consider when picking hearing aids is how severe your hearing loss is because not every device style can support every level of hearing loss. Some devices are much larger than others and work in a slightly different way, so, in general, the more severe your hearing loss, the larger your device needs to be to support your hearing needs. But, there are exceptions to that rule, so if you have severe hearing loss and want a device that’s as small as possible, there are options.
While different brands will look different, all hearing aids across brands work the same, and certain styles are better suited to treat different levels of hearing loss. For example, if you have milder hearing loss, you can get the support you need from a completely in canal (CIC) device, but this same style probably won’t work for someone with more severe hearing loss.
Also, some cases of hearing loss are so severe that a hearing aid just won’t support what you need, and something like surgery and a cochlear implant may be the only option to treat the hearing loss.
A hearing test is the best way to determine how severe your hearing loss is, and once you know that information, you can narrow down your hearing aid options.
Your lifestyle is another key factor in determining the best hearing aid because certain hearing aid styles are going to be more conducive to more active lifestyles. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or doing physical activities, a smaller hearing aid with more protective features may be a better choice for you. Additionally, some devices are very small and can be harder to handle for those with dexterity issues, so a larger device may be a better option for those folks.
Your hobbies and other ways you spend your time may also affect the type of hearing aid that’s best for you. For example, some hearing aids are better suited for hearing conversation in loud environments or may have additional features to support those who talk on the phone a lot.
When you meet with your hearing care provider to discuss hearing aids, they will bring a variety of questions to help them understand your lifestyle and make a more educated recommendation for the style of hearing aid that will balance your lifestyle with your hearing loss severity.
Hearing loss cause
The last, much smaller factor that will affect the type of hearing aid you end up needing is what’s causing your hearing loss. For example, if your hearing loss is caused by an infection or blockage, you probably don’t need hearing aids at all, but if your hearing loss is caused by age or something else, hearing aids are probably a better option.
Most non-reversible hearing loss causes can be treated with a hearing aid, though, making this a much smaller factor in determining the best hearing aid compared to how severe your hearing loss is or your lifestyle.
Find a hearing care professional to help determine the best hearing aid for you
There are so many styles and brands of hearing aids, and that can feel daunting to someone who’s never been exposed to the industry before. But, with the help of an experienced hearing care professional (like the team at Beltone Tristate!), you can find a hearing aid that will support your hearing loss and fit seamlessly with your lifestyle.
Ready to take control of your hearing loss and find the hearing aid that will best fit your lifestyle and needs? Beltone Tristate can help! Schedule your free hearing test today.