Before looking for the perfect hearing amplifier, there are a number of factors to consider. Some of these depend on the specific characteristics of your hearing loss, while others are more personal.
The most important function of your hearing amplifier is to compensate for your hearing loss.
It is natural for you to want your amplifier to be as stylish and discreet as possible, so that you never feel uncomfortable about wearing them. They should also be easy for you to use and simple to maintain. Either way, your hearing care professional will be able to recommend a solution, and help you make the right choice.
Physical Factors to Consider
- The Degree of Your Hearing Loss-
Your hearing care professional will examine you to determine the exact degree and type of your hearing loss. If, for example, you have severe hearing loss, a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing amplifier might be the best hearing amplifier choice because it may give you more powerful amplification.
- The Anatomy of Your Ear-
The space inside our ears varies from person to person. Most ears are big enough for an In-the-Ear hearing aid, but may not always be large enough to accommodate the smallest types which fit into the ear canal.
- Do You Need Two Hearing Amplifiers?
Two ears are always better than one, so if you do have a hearing loss in both ears, you should consider wearing two hearing amplifiers. Not because they make sounds twice as loud, but because, by mimicking the natural hearing process, they give you a better sense of where the sound is coming from. It also becomes easier to understand what people are saying in noisy surroundings. Compared to one instrument, the overall sound quality and comfort from two is usually better.
Personal Factors Worth Considering
When selecting a hearing amplifier don’t forget your own personal needs.
- Communication Needs
Take some time to think about the situations where you would like to improve your hearing. When and where do you need extra help? What are you requirements at work, and what are your favorite leisure activities, including the ones you’ve stopped doing because of communication problems? If you clearly define these requirements, your hearing care professional will be able to help you find a hearing amplifier that fulfills most of your needs.
The smaller the instrument, the smaller the controls and batteries. So if your eyes are not what they used to be, or your hands cannot cope with adjusting small controls, you will find a larger instrument easier to handle. Fully automatic instruments are so advanced that they completely do away with the need for manually adjusting the volume to your surroundings.
There are a wide variety of sizes and colors to suit your own personal tastes. You may want something discreet like an in-the-canal style, or a behind-the-ear model in a color which closely matches your hair or skin tone. Either way, your hearing care professional can help you find the style that suits you best.
Better hearing means a better quality of life, and isn’t that worth an investment of some sort? No matter what your budget is, you should be able to find a hearing instrument that meets your personal requirements. Explore all the options together with your hearing care professional, before making your final decision.
- Sound Quality
Technology is everywhere today, helping to solve people’s problems. It certainly has improved the size and performance of hearing instruments. The most sophisticated instruments today are digital, running on powerful computer microchips to give the best possible quality of sound. Ask your hearing care professional to tell you about the latest developments.
Additional Devices for Hearing Assistance
Some listening situations are more difficult than others, so public places such as churches, theaters and airports often have what is known as a tele loop system, which can transmit sound signals directly into your personal hearing amplifier if it has a telecoil option.
The tele coil is now a standard feature on most hearing instruments today, not least because many telephones and portable phones are also hearing aid compatible.
These are just some of the factors to consider when choosing hearing instruments. That is why it is so important to have a close relationship with your hearing care professional. Hearing care professionals are there to advise you, so do take the opportunity to tell them about your needs and personal preferences. After all, it’s you who benefit the most by wearing something you’re happy with.