What You Need to Know Before Buying Hearing Aids

Hearing loss can significantly impact a person’s quality of life by affecting their ability to communicate and understand speech. This may lead to depression, social isolation, loss of self-esteem, and cognitive impairment. In many cases, hearing aids are the best solution for hearing loss and can help prevent those negative side effects.

Hearing aids can improve your hearing by amplifying the sounds that you have trouble with, enhancing your ability to communicate, and reducing the risks of developing cognitive impairment and other health conditions.

There are different types of hearing aids available for your selection, so it’s essential to follow these steps before purchasing hearing aids.

Steps You Should Take Before Buying Hearing Aids

1. Complete Hearing Test

A complete hearing test is required before buying hearing aids. Visit your audiologist to get your hearing checked. They will evaluate your hearing and recommend the best hearing aid to help overcome your hearing problem.

2. Be Financially Prepared

Determine how much you can afford to spend on hearing aids. Your hearing aid provider may have financing options, and also can help you determine whether you have any insurance coverage. This should be discussed with your provider so that you will be aware of any out-of-pocket expenses.

3. Choose the Right Audiologist

Hearing aids are medical devices that require the expertise of an audiologist in fitting and adjustments. Look for an audiologist who can provide convenient follow-up appointments based on your needs.

4. Prioritize Your Hearing Needs

Make sure that you let your audiologist know what you need and expect from hearing aids. Are you having problems listening to your TV? Hearing co-workers or family members? Listening to music? Listening needs vary by individual. Communicating those needs to your audiologist helps ensure that you will be matched with the best hearing aids for you.

Treat the Underlying Condition

5. Choose the Best Solution

Modern hearing aids are available in many sizes and styles. Most will include bluetooth wireless communication as well. It can be nearly impossible for the consumer to understand which features are necessary for a particular situation. Your audiologist can be invaluable in helping to answer your questions and guide you toward the best solutions.

6. Acknowledge the Limitations

Hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing. While today’s hearing aids are miles ahead of the technology available just a few years ago, none of them are capable of completely overcoming the most common kinds of hearing loss. Also, it takes most new users several weeks before becoming accustomed to the different sound quality provided by hearing aids.

7. Get the Required Support

You can discuss with your friends, family, and colleagues about buying hearing aids and ask their support throughout your journey to better hearing.

8. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Hearing loss presents many challenges, but staying positive and wearing hearing aids will help you get through these challenges.

9. Put in the Effort

You must make every possible effort to experience better results with hearing aids, including being engaged, providing valuable feedback about your experience, and keeping up to date with your follow-up appointments. These tasks will help your audiologist make the required adjustments to your hearing aids for the best hearing experience.

What You Should Look for in Hearing Aids

You can look for the following features when buying hearing aids:

1. Directional Microphones

These will help you hear clearly in noisy environments. Several types of directional microphones are available, including:

  • Fixed – picks up sounds coming from a particular area, usually located in front of you.
  • Adaptive – identifies people talking around you and focuses on wherever the speech is coming from.
  • Dynamic – constantly monitors the listening environment and automatically adjusts for changes.

2. Styles

Manny different styles of hearing aid are available, each with advantages and disadvantages. There are custom aids which fit into the ear and can range from tiny and nearly invisible up to large, easy-to-handle aids which fill the whole outer ear. There also are behind-the-ear styles ranging from slim designs which hide well and can give very natural sound for certain types of loss, to very large and extremely powerful hearing aids for the most profound losses. Your audiologist will help guide you through these decisions.

3. Noise Reduction

Hearing aids are designed with built-in noise reduction algorithms. These algorithms can distinguish speech from noise, enabling hearing aids to reduce incoming noise volume and amplify incoming speech. However, the amount of noise reduction varies from one hearing aid to another.

4. Connectivity

Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids can be easily paired up with a TV, music player, computer, and mobile phone. You can even adjust your hearing aids’ settings through your smartphone.

5. Feedback

Feedback is a whistling or chirping noise audible to people near the hearing aid user. Look for hearing aids that feature feedback control options, as it will make your hearing aids less noticeable to others and more comfortable to wear.

For further clarification and assistance on hearing aids, call us at 949-536-5180 or schedule a telehealth appointment with us. We will let you know whether an in-person visit is required.


Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.