3 Tips for Selecting Hearing Aid Features
Hearing aids have developed from the earliest, basic devices that simply amplified sounds to the extremely complex devices we see today, with numerous automatic features and capability of syncing wirelessly with other electronics. Choosing the right features can be challenging, especially with so many sources of information to turn to. To help you choose the hearing aid features that are right for you and your budget, here are four pieces of advice.
1. Consult with a hearing professional
Sure, you can do your own research online, but with so many different manufacturers, it can be hard to sort out the differences among devices, let alone dozens of optional features. Hearing aid features are also referred to differently based on the manufacturer, so it’s hard to know which features are comparable from one hearing aid model to the next. What’s more, suppliers who want you to purchase directly from them tend to be less objective in the information they provide.
As unbiased experts on hearing aids and other assistive listening devices, such as a hearing instrument specialist, can help you sort out all of these differences and determine which device and features are the best choice for your hearing needs.
2. Choose features that are specific to your type of hearing loss
Some features are designed to benefit specific hearing loss needs, so purchasing a device with these features if they don’t match your hearing profile is unnecessary and costly. For instance, binaural synchronization is only useful if you have hearing loss in both ears, and frequency shifting features is only beneficial if you have high-frequency hearing loss. Ask your hearing healthcare professional which features are most important or specific to your hearing loss and choose accordingly.
3. Stick with these three basic always-good features
Even though everyone’s hearing loss is unique, the following features are always a good choice:
- Feedback cancellation. Many hearing aids have this feature built-in, but it’s always good to make sure. Feedback cancellation makes it possible to talk on the phone and interact with other electronics annoying whistling sounds or static.
- Background noise reduction. It’s common to carry on conversations or listen to lectures in noisy environments, so this kind of feature will always be beneficial for improving the clarity of speech and helping you hear your friends and family with less difficulty in public settings.
- Phone features. Everyone talks on the phone, so having hearing aids that are compatible with phones is essential. Whether your devices use a telecoil, a special program or Bluetooth technology, make sure they’re usable alongside phones.
With so many hearing aid features to choose from, it’s important to focus on what’s vital to your hearing needs and fits best with your lifestyle and budget, so let your hearing healthcare professional give you expert advice and input on this important decision.