Your hearing aid can play a major role in your life, helping you enjoy conversation, music and to be more aware of your surroundings. As such, a lot of thought should go into selecting the right hearing aid before you schedule your fitting. Audiologists are happy to help you make the right choice for you, but here are some of the most common questions regarding that choice that we can answer in advance.

What kinds of hearing aids are available to me?

There are quite a few different kinds of hearing aids on the market. Some of the most common styles include in-the-ear (ITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) devices. You will have an opportunity to see examples of how they each look when fitted, as well as common differences in what they can and can’t do. Some types, like IIC, work best with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and may not be the most effective choice if you have a more severe kind.

Are they easy to use?

The intuitive design of hearing aids makes most of them relatively easy to use, but the answer to this question relies on your dexterity and your comfort with certain levels of technology. Some people who don’t have full manual dexterity due to age or disability may not want a hearing aid that has to be placed more specifically inside the ear or requires frequent battery changes. Similarly, some people are more than happy to have a hearing aid with a whole range of extra features like Bluetooth functionality whereas, for some, these features may only cause distraction and frustration. Your audiologist will ask a range of questions to ensure you get a device that is easier for you to use as an individual.

What should I look for when choosing a hearing aid?

Some aspects, like manual dexterity, type of hearing loss and ear anatomy will naturally limit your options. However, there are other wants and needs you can fulfill. For instance, it’s a good idea to think about what kind of environments you spend a lot of time in. Whether you live in a home with many people, spend time on the phone, work in an environment with distracting background noise or regularly go to concerts and shows, you can choose hearing aids that help you hear or block out certain kinds of noises.

Is my final answer reversible?

All hearing aids bought with the help of your audiologist should have a trial period to ensure your satisfaction. You will be given the opportunity to ensure they are comfortable wear, effective and suited to your lifestyle. Your audiologist can perform many of the adjustments to help get the best out of them, but you should be able to return it and choose another should that seem impossible.

If you aren’t clear about any of the answers provided or you have other questions, don’t hesitate to ask your audiologist at your next appointment. Your hearing aid is only as effective as your comfort and confidence in using it, so it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that you’re not left with too many unanswered questions.