A hearing aid can greatly improve the quality of life of somebody who has hearing loss or ear damage. Hearing loss can affect a person’s lifestyle in many ways, from their balance to how able they are to carry on a conversation. Hearing aids vary greatly in price, style, size, how they are placed in the ear and special features. The one that you choose will depend on you as an individual, your lifestyle and your preferences. Here, we’ll discuss how to pick out the best hearing aids for you.

Before buying

Before buying a hearing aid, it’s a good idea to have a checkup and then get a referral to an experienced audiologist. They will be able to talk you through your options and help you to choose something that suits your lifestyle. You may be able to consider a trial period with a hearing aid, to be sure that it suits your lifestyle and your needs. Remember to think about your future needs – is your hearing likely to get worse? Check for a warranty to ensure that the hearing aid is durable and capable to withstand daily wear and tear. Beware of misleading claims, as some hearing aids may have smart marketing but not do what they say on the adverts. Plan for the expense, too, as hearing aids will likely be one of the most expensive things you purchase.

Visit an audiologist

Once you’ve been referred, pay a visit to the audiologist and discuss your needs. Consider special features you may want in your hearing aid. Some options are as follows:

  • Noise reduction
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Variable programming
  • Remote controls

Hearing aid options

The audiologist that you visit will likely talk you through the following options:

  • Completely in the canal
  • In the ear
  • Behind the ear
  • Open fit
  • Receiver in ear

You may want to do your own research before paying them a visit so you have a rough idea of what you could need. That being said, a good audiologist will ensure you know everything you need to know.

Things to remember

There are a few things you should remember before you go ahead and purchase your hearing aid. A hearing aid won’t return your hearing to normal and you may need time to get used to your hearing aid. Don’t think you will be able to hear as you used to once you have this fitted and remember to give yourself a bit of an adjustment period. It’s normal for it to be strange or uncomfortable at first, which is why a trial period is recommended. Seek support from friends and loved ones during this time, as they can help to ease your fears. Don’t forget to go back to the audiologist for a follow up appointment; in some cases this may be free. They will usually want to check back up on you to ensure your hearing aid is performing the way you wanted it to and that you are getting the best from it.