There are many decisions to make when deciding which hearing instruments to try. Following the audiological assessment, your hearing healthcare professional will provide you with information that is appropriate for your hearing loss and specific to your hearing needs so that you can make an informed decision about which hearing instruments will work best for you. Several factors must be considered including:

  • Sound processing technology and circuitry (analog, programmable, digital, single- or multi-channel)
  • Style or size of hearing instrument
  • Additional options (volume control, programs, directional microphone, telecoil, remote control, etc.)
  • Monaural vs. binaural (one versus two) hearing instruments
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Financial considerations

These decisions are sometimes made independently of one another whereas others require prioritization and compromises.

How Hearing Devices Work

Hearing instruments are designed to amplify sound which can reduce the effects of hearing loss by making soft sounds audible, average sounds comfortable, and very loud sounds tolerable. All hearing aids have a microphone to collect sound, an amplifier to filter, process, and increase the volume of sound, and a receiver to channel the sound toward the eardrum.

It is important to keep in mind that no hearing aid can restore normal hearing. Hearing aids can make soft sounds louder and listening easier. Many factors play a role in achieving maximum hearing benefit including: type of hearing loss, severity of hearing loss, individual listening needs and an individual’s personal lifestyle.

The technological advances in amplification engineering and design have progressed significantly over the last decade. Amplification technology is forever changing and improving. Sophisticated designs, speech enhancement features, noise reduction capabilities, feedback management systems, remote control, and Bluetooth compatibility, combine to bring added value to the numerous variety of hearing devices available today.

There are many decisions to be made when selecting hearing aids. Making this important choice should be a team effort involving you and your hearing healthcare professional, following a complete audiological assessment and hearing aid evaluation.

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