VanBergen: Choosing the right hearing aid

A professional will help get the hearing aid that's right for you.

Colin VanBergen

Treating hearing loss is important and can improve your quality of life, earnings, relationships, self-confidence and happiness.

If you are considering purchasing hearing aids, you will find that there are many options, brands and styles to consider.

It can be easy for a first-time hearing aid buyer to feel overwhelmed, but purchasing hearing aids is a personal decision and there is no single option that is best for everyone.

Your hearing care professional will help guide you through the process and find you the most appropriate, well-fitted hearing aids.

In fact, choosing the right hearing professional will ensure that you choose the best hearing aid for you as the hearing professional will assess your listening needs, will determine the right style of hearing aid, and will work with you to ensure that your choice of hearing aids will also work within your budget. Long gone are the days when hearing aid were large and obvious.

Just like computers of the past, hearing aids are now much smaller and offering amazing technological advancements. Modern hearing aids are:

Discrete

Water and dust resistant you can drop some hearing aids in a bucket of water for 30 minutes and not damage them

Customizable they come in a wide variety of styles from custom made hearing aids that fit inside the ear canal to behind-the-ear style which are becoming increasingly smaller and popular

Available in a range of designs and colours

Wireless using Bluetooth technology we can now connect hearing aids with cell phones, TVs, wireless microphones and the Internet

Adjustable your hearing professional programs the sound in the hearing aid to match your hearing prescription.

When you see your hearing professional he or she will go through a series of questions in an attempt to determine what your listening needs are.

An individual who lives a relatively quiet lifestyle would not necessarily receive the same amount of benefit from premium level technology compared to an individual who finds themselves in many different challenging listening environments.

Basic level hearing aids can work very well for many individuals whose primary listening situations are in quiet environments (ie. at home or in a small office).

Those who are more socially active and enjoy meeting up with friends at the local coffee shop or are frequently in group situations will definitely want to give serious consideration to investing in premium level hearing aids as the higher-level technology will reduce more of the background noise and allow the listener to understand more of what is being said.

As you can tell from the brief summary of considerations mentioned above, there are many factors that go into choosing the right hearing aid for someone.

You cannot make this decision by yourself so rely on the expertise of the hearing professional that you choose to see.

Even the hearing professional will not always get it right every single time which is why all hearing aids that are sold in B.C. are required to have a return period.

This will allow the consumer to try hearing aids out for a 60 to 100 day trial period.

Generally, a chosen hearing aid will work quite well but when it does not, you have the ability to return it for a full refund and try a different one.