There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding which style of hearing instrument would be the best for you. I always tell people that the VERY most important thing about your hearing instrument is that YOU want to wear it. (And of course that you do). We must be diligent in other considerations also.

First are the results of your hearing evaluation. It is not just about how you hear the tones. Much information is provided by the results of speech discrimination tests. Test that are done in noise will reveal the type of technology that will yield the best speech understanding with hearing aids. This also will provide information on which style hearing instrument is the best.

Hearing instruments that fit over the ear analyze and process the sound a little different than those that fit in the ear. They affect our own voice differently than hearing instruments that fit in the ear. The ones that fit in the ear may fill up the whole ear or be so small that it is nearly invisible and sits deep in the ear canal near the eardrum.

All hearing instruments can use batteries, but; only certain styles can be rechargeable. They can be wireless, Bluetooth or wired. They can have one microphone to pick up sounds or multiple. They can have one sound processor to control background noise or up to 8 processors to specifically identify speech in many types of background noise.

Again... the most important factor is that you put on the hearing instruments and wear them. Some people are frustrated with having instruments over the ear and the “wearing of the masks.” Add an oxygen tube up there and some glasses and that can be just miserable.

Your Hearing Health Care Provider should assist you in making the right decision. Hopefully, you get to try on some different models. Starkey Hearing Technologies ™ allows a little time for changes. The give us 90 days from your fitting to change styles if the product picked needs to be exchanged. Usually, a patient will know within just a few days if they are going to adapt to the chosen instruments. This policy also helps to ease the worry of making the correct decision.

So many choices. Really though.... it’s not that difficult. A Qualified Board Certified Hearing Health Care Professional can help you get the best product for you. If you are over the age of 50 it is recommended that you get annual hearing evaluations. If you don’t have a hearing loss you should still get the hearing test to monitor your health. Your hearing is one of your most important senses and provides much information about your health. For example; your hearing test and consultation can reveal possible high cholesterol, impacted wax or cardiac issues. If you have a family history of hearing difficulty, dementia or diabetes then you should pick up the phone and make your hearing test appointment as soon as possible. If you have any pain or fullness in the ear then you should not hesitate to seek out a consultation.

Remember, it’s not just about how loud a tone has to be for you to hear it. It’s not just about a simple hearing test. Your best hearing landscape will entail a thorough evaluation AND consultation.

To Hear Better Is To Hear Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.