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Five ways to make sure you get the right hearing aid

Just like glasses, a hearing aid is often a necessary evil as we get older. And also like glasses the device can never fully restore the function we have lost but they can amplify what is going on to make it easier to hear again.

But deciding on what type of hearing aid works for you can be a tricky business so we provide these five steps to getting it right:

 

Have an ear test

This may sound simple but the first step is really to see your GP to make sure you do need to get a hearing aid. You may simply have an ear infection, or may be able to wait a bit longer. You doctor will have the right advice for you.

 

What’s your style?

Hearing aids come in different styles so you need to sort out what is right for you. CIC, or completely in the canal, types are small and hide inside your ear canal. The pros are that they cannot really be seen so they are discrete but their size means there is little room for extras. ITC, or in the canal, types fit partially into the canal, they are easier to see but can offer extra features like volume control or the ability to control the direction of the microphone. ITE, or in the ear, are larger again and offer not only more functions but can be easier to use for older patients, but they can begin to get a bit uncomfortable due to their size. And a BTE, or behind the ear, aid rests behind your ear with a earpiece that sits inside the canal, this is the most common and is big and easy to handle, but shop around and decide what is right for you.

 

Does this come with extras?

Just like computing, the changes in hearing-aid technology are moving at a pace. Some options extras might include noise reduction, like you find in expensive travel headphones, that helps to counteract the ambient noise. Do you want your batteries to be rechargeable? Or perhaps you would like a remote control so you don’t have to fidget around with the aid and move it around your ear.

One of the biggest changes in the market is that your hearing aid can now come with wireless connectivity so it can link with your mobile phone or a Bluetooth device like a music system giving you more flexibility.

 

Try before you buy

Most decent hearing aids will let you have a trial period that can be key to deciding what the right device is for you. Make sure you get the terms of the trial in writing so you know what you are in for at the end.

 

Check your warranty

A hearing aid is not a casual purchase with prices starting at over a thousand dollars and heading up many thousands of dollars. You want to make sure that you are covered in the event of loss or damage. Read your warranty, fill in any forms you need and keep it somewhere safe.

 

Then you just need to persist. Getting used to a hearing aid can take a fair amount of time and it can at times be frustrating, but the alternative is being cut off from the world and being unable to take part in basic things like conversations and catching a movie. Stick it out and try to stay positive.