While 480,000 people in New Zealand have hearing loss, only 200,000 wear hearing aids, meaning that nearly 300,000 New Zealanders are living with the daily challenges of hearing loss. While the cost of hearing aids can sometimes put people off buying hearing aids, so can the misconception that wearing hearing aids can make a person appear older.
But why do so many people not wear hearing aids? For many people, it’s because their hearing aids are not fitted correctly or they don’t have the features they need. If you take the time to compare hearing aids before making a purchase, you can ensure that your new hearing aids will not only fit comfortably, be suitable for your specific hearing needs but also have the features you want.
Just as each person is different, no two types of hearing loss are the same. This means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing hearing aids. However, with so many brands and styles of hearing aids, selecting just one specific hearing aid can feel daunting. Which hearing aid will be right for you depends on the nature and severity of your hearing loss and your lifestyle and profession. If you regularly interact with people or need to regularly make phone calls, you may need a certain kind of hearing aid. Meanwhile, if you have an active social life, spend a lot of time in the car or are mainly at home, you will likely need a different hearing aid.
Types of hearing aids
To help you find the best hearing aid for you, start by comparing the four main types of hearing aids and select the type that best suits your hearing loss and matches your cosmetic preferences. The four main types of hearing aid are:
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The most crucial part of choosing the best hearing aid for you is being able to determine how well the hearing aid improves your hearing loss. Your next consideration should then be comfort. After all, if your hearing aid isn’t comfortable and doesn’t fit you correctly, then you are unlikely to want to wear them. Once you are satisfied with the comfort and performance of a hearing aid, you should next focus on the additional features the hearing aid offers. These could include:
With hearing aid technology constantly improving, hearing aids now offer a variety of extra features. Make sure, however, that you choose a hearing aid with features that you will use.
How to compare hearing aids
While hearing aids once had separate settings and volume controls, most of today’s hearing aids have just one button. Most also have automatic volume adjustment, so you don’t even have to increase or decrease the volume, it’s done for you. But while you may not have so many controls to play around with now, it’s helpful to test out the controls to see how they work.
The hearing aid may come with features and custom settings that can be controlled by an app on your phone. Explore these apps to see how useful and intuitive they are. You may also want to step outside while wearing them to determine how outside noise such as wind affects the performance of the hearing aid.
It’s always a good idea to compare hearing aids before making a firm decision on which ones you will purchase. This will enable you to thoroughly explore the different models and types and the advantages they offer.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.
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