(most in the range of $1,500 to $3,000 each)
Special Effects To Consider
Some of the hearing aid styles also offer a range of special features. These include directional microphones that can help you to hear better in the midst of a crowd or other noisy setting. You can use a telephone adapter, also called a telecoil T switch, which blocks out background noise so you can hear sounds over the telephone better. In addition, some of the modern hearing aids rely on Bluetooth technology that allows you to talk on a cell phone or telephone wirelessly via your hearing aid. Finally, some hearing aids also allow you to adjust the settings using a remote control. This means you won’t have to try to adjust the small hearing aid device itself.
What To Expect
Regardless of the type of hearing aid you select and any special features that you get, the experts warn that getting used to having sound amplified can take an adjustment process. Everything sounds different when it is magnified, and even your own voice will be unfamiliar when you hear it broadcast via your hearing aid for the very first time. As a result, a hearing aid won’t be able to help you to hear things the way they sounded in the past to you. Instead, it will be able to make sounds easier to hear and understand and to help block out background noise. The more you use your new hearing aid, the more “normal” to you the sounds will become. Just in case you don’t feel comfortable with what you get, though, always ask before you buy a hearing aid what the return policy is. In many states, hearing aid customers are allowed a trial period and can exchange the device for another one if they don’t end up liking it.
Rely On An Expert
The best place to start shopping for a hearing aid is to meet with a local audiologist who is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. This is a professional who specializes in measuring hearing impairment and making suggestions for how best to treat each specific situation. Your audiologist should be able to assess your needs and to make recommendations on the best type of hearing aid (or aids) for you. In addition, you can count on an audiologist to help teach you how to use your new hearing aid or aids, since these often take time to get used to and to break in.
If you live in a more rural area and don’t have access to an audiologist, you may need to work directly with the hearing aid dealer instead. Many dealers can also perform diagnostic testing and find the proper fit. Regardless of who you use to assess your case, it is important to make sure that the person is licensed to practice in your state.