No matter which type of hearing aid you choose, you should expect the following features from any device.
- Comfort - Modern hearing aids are well constructed and comfortable to wear. As technology advances, devices continue to grow smaller and are barely noticeable. Your audiologist may take a mold of your ear, so your hearing aid should closely match your ear shape and size. Although they may feel a little strange at first, hearing aids should never be uncomfortable. Wearing a hearing aid is similar to getting used to wearing a watch: after a while, you don’t even recognize that it’s there. Be cautious of advertisements for free hearing aids or those offered by big discount stores. Furthermore, they may not be customized or verified for your listening goals. This is also why you should never order a hearing aid online.
- Appearance - Many people are concerned with how their hearing aids will look. New hearing aid users in particular are often afraid of looking older than they actually are. Fortunately, the technology offered by modern hearing aids allows them to be smaller and very well hidden. The size of your hearing aid will depend somewhat on your level of hearing loss and the additional features you select, but they are all generally small and discreet. In fact, people are often surprised by the amount of technology packed into these tiny devices!
- Battery life - Many people are concerned about hearing aid battery life, especially as new technology becomes available. Fortunately, modern hearing aids are typically very efficient, and battery life is usually comparable to older processors. Note that some features -- such as Bluetooth streaming -- may result in a higher battery drain, but not enough to result in a major inconvenience. Manufacturers take special interest in ensuring that the advancements they make in hearing aids are not overshadowed by a heavy impact on battery life.
- Water resistance - A feature that some people may not consider, but is critical to a hearing aid’s function, is water resistance. While most hearing aids aren’t waterproof, they should have a high rating for moisture and dust resistance. Sweat, ear wax, oils from your hair and skin, and humidity in the air are all factors that can inhibit the performance of your hearing aids. If you work outdoors or spend a lot of time in the water, be sure to ask about water-resistant devices or drying accessories.
Knowing that every hearing aid has a standard level of dependability relative to these features is reassuring to users who find it challenging to select the best hearing aid for their needs. When looking at more advanced technology, you can select features that best suit your individual goals without worrying about sacrificing basic comfort and performance.