When it comes to hearing aids, there is no “one size fits all.” Everyone’s ears are different shapes and sizes, so it follows that each person has specific needs and requirements of a hearing aid. Your audiologist will be able to help you select a hearing aid that works best for you.
An audiologist considers two main things when determining the best hearing aid for a patient: comfort and sound.
Fitting for comfort
There are two types of hearing aids: those that fit inside the ear and those that fit behind the ear. There are pros and cons to both. Generally, hearing aids that fit inside the ear are one single piece and are best for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. In some cases they are small and discreet if they fit deep into the ear canal or they can fill the outer portion of the ear.
The behind-the-ear fit is for individuals with all ranges of hearing loss, and the sound is usually designed to be more powerful if needed, but in some cases can also be more natural. A professional consultation and accurate hearing testing will help determine which type of hearing loss you have and which hearing aid is best suited for your needs.
Your hearing aids can be further personalized for your needs by selecting the color (similar to your hair or skin for camouflaging or in bright colors as fashion statements). If your hands are unsteady or you have arthritis, you might want a hearing aid that has larger, easy-to-control buttons.
If you choose behind-the-ear aids, your audiologist will measure your ear to determine optimal fit for the earwire (the small wire that connects the ear tip to the hearing aid behind the ear) or the tubing. Custom earmolds are also available when needed; if you opt to go with a custom earmold, your audiologist will make an impression of your outer ear, which will later be used to ensure that your hearing aid fits exactly the way it should inside your ear.
Fitting for sound
After you get your hearing aid, the settings and program are custom fit. When your audiologist fits your hearing aids, he or she will use special equipment to verify how well your hearing aids function while they are in your ears. Using Verifit, he or she can directly measure your hearing aid’s performance while it’s in your ear. This helps determine if your hearing aid is programmed exactly for your hearing loss so that you can enjoy today’s digital hearing aid technology to the fullest.
At any time, your audiologist will be available to help you fine-tune your hearing aid to fit your particular needs. Your audiologist will coach you through volume adjustment, hearing aid maintenance, and how to optimize your aids.
Are you experiencing hearing loss? Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level professionals who can help with hearing loss and hearing aids. Contact us today to make an appointment, and prevent hearing problems from affecting your everyday lifestyle.