The way it used to be, hearing aids were large, bulky items that, although performed an important job, could feel cumbersome and antiquated to use. These days, we can get hearing aids that suit our lifestyle. With a variety of styles and features to choose from, it can be difficult to know where you need to start when purchasing a hearing aid. This is when it's important to work with your audiologist to find the best device possible for your specific needs. But what do you need to consider before going down this route?

Should you see an audiologist?

Whether you are looking to buy a new hearing aid for the first time or upgrade your current device, it's crucial that you visit an audiologist to test your hearing and determine your needs. There are common signs that you should visit an audiologist.

If you have started to suffer from tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) your appointment with the audiologist can highlight the best treatment for you, such as hearing aids or masking devices. They can also diagnose if it is part of a deeper problem, such as vertigo or a balance disorder originating from the inner ear.

Experiencing a sudden or gradual hearing loss. Whether you get exposure to noise at close range, or you are beginning to suffer age-related hearing loss, your audiologist can offer a set of hearing tests to determine the cause and the treatment.

It's also worth considering if earwax is the main reason. A buildup of ear wax near to the eardrum can be very painful, but audiologists have the appropriate tools to remove this.

What is your lifestyle like?

The sort of lifestyle you have will determine the type of hearing aid you need. For example, if you are particularly active, you need something robust that’s a help, not a hindrance. This is especially true if you go exercising, like swimming or hiking.

Do you spend a lot of time in environments that demands you listen attentively, such as attending social functions like concerts? Or do you travel on a regular basis, either by plane or by car? There are hearing aids that not only make the most of the latest technology to enhance the speech clarity, but there are hearing aids that are water-resistant.

Are used hearing aids an option?

While many people consider used hearing aids to lower the cost of their device, this usually isn't a viable option for most individuals. Because there are numerous styles and features available for hearing aids, finding a used device that contains the components you would benefit most from is rare. Additionally, most hearing aids need to be specifically tailored to your ear anatomy to ensure you get the most comfortable fit and best listening experience. Used hearing aids do not offer this type of customization and would likely result in your only wearing the devices for a short period of time before setting them on the shelf to collect dust.

Hearing aid features

In addition to this, the features are integral to purchasing the best device for your lifestyle. You need to make a list of the ideal features your hearing aid should contain. Some hearing aids feature direct audio input, which is beneficial to those that use their computer or television or listen to music a lot.

It's also essential that you consider the hearing levels. You need to determine that the hearing aid in question is suitable for your specific hearing loss. An audiologist provides the patient with a chart called an audiogram. This displays the particular levels of hearing loss so you can use this to get a good opinion if a device is going to work for you.

Purchasing a hearing aid is a big step in your life. Not only is it stepping stone to diagnosing your hearing condition, but it's going to help you live your life better than before this problem struck. Nobody should feel limited in their hearing ability, especially as hearing aids are continually improving with every passing year. And even if budget is a problem, you can work with your audiologist to pick the best type for your budget. Audiologists are there to help you diagnose your problem and give you the best chance at living your life to its fullest. For more information or to book an appointment you can contact Davis audiology at (864) 655-8300.