5 Points to consider when purchasing a new hearing aid
Hearing Aid Strength
Key to having a hearing aid work properly for you is it strength. If it is not powerful enough it will not help you. A hearing aid’s strength is measured in decibels. The more loss you have, the more decibels you need. Hearing aids generally can amplify sound between 20dB(mild hearing loss) to 130dB(profound hearing loss).
Type of Hearing Aid
There are two main types of hearing aid; in the ear hearing aid and behind the ear hearing aid. Both types of hearing aids have advantages and disadvantages.
IN THE EAR HEARING AIDS:
The advantages to in the ear hearing aids are: In the ear hearing aids are smaller and lighter. In the ear hearing aids are easier to put in. In the ear hearing aids are less noticeable.
The disadvantages of in the ear hearing aids are: In the ear hearing aids are small and light but are less powerful than behind the ear hearing aids. In the ear hearing aids can be harder to get adjusted. The speaker is closer to the microphone that makes feedback more of an issue especially when you are initially setting up the behind the ear hearing aid. In the ear hearing aids have very small batteries that may not last as long as the larger batteries in the behind the ear hearing aids. In the ear hearing aids have very small controls that can be harder to adjust.
BEHIND THE EAR HEARING AIDS:
The advantages of the behind the ear hearing aids are: Behind the ear hearing aids are larger so they can hold the more powerful electronics that allow for greater sound amplification. Behind the ear hearing aids can carry more features. Behind the ear hearing aids can be easier cleaned and tubes and tips quickly replaced. Behind the ear hearing aids can be easier to set up and adjusted. Behind the ear hearing aids can carry larger longer lasting batteries.
The disadvantages or behind the ear hearing aids are: Behind the ear hearing aids are larger and usually heavier than in the ear hearing aids. Behind the ear hearing aids may not be as conspicuous as in the ear hearing aids.
Number of channels the hearing aid has
Hearing aids can process ranges of frequencies separately. Each of these processing ranges is a channel. If a hearing aid has two channels it processes the high range of frequencies separately from the low range for better sound quality and adjustability. Hearing aids with more channels process and break the frequency divisions down more finely. Usually the more channels the more a hearing aid costs.
The hearing aid’s Features
Hearing aids can have many features. Feedback reduction and background noise reduction/cancelation are very helpful in hearing aids. Hearing aids with T-coils allow the hearing aid to work very well with telephones. Additional hearing aid features like low battery warning and FM/Bluetooth capabilities can be helpful.
The Size of the hearing aid
Hearing aids come in all different sizes. Usually the larger hearing aids are more powerful and hold larger batteries that can last longer. The smaller hearing aids are lighter, less intrusive, and less conspicuous.