How to Shop For Your Hearing Aid
Education and Advocacy Advice from an expert on how to shop for and choose a hearing aid.
Q: What are the different types of hearing aids on the market right now?
A: Hearing aids continue to range in size, style and level of power. The results of your hearing test are still the most important piece of information your qualified hearing professional will use to determine which hearing aid is right for you. Today’s hearing aids range from very small in-the-ear devices to larger over-the-ear devices. Some newer types of hearing aids available include devices that are inserted very deeply in the ear canal and are advertised as being “invisible” as well as “open-fit” technology that offer the wearer a very discrete, lightweight and extremely comfortable hearing aid and consists of a tiny wire inserted into the ear canal attached to a small piece that tucks in behind the ear.
"I would have to say that the future of hearing aids is Bluetooth compatibility and utilizing that technology to enhance the accessibility of hearing aids with other media devices."
Q: What are some recent developments in hearing aid technology?
A: I would have to say that the future of hearing aids is Bluetooth compatibility and utilizing that technology to enhance the accessibility of hearing aids with other media devices. For example, newer hearing aids can now be hooked up to your television, stereo, telephone, computer and other media devices completely wirelessly. Your hearing aid becomes the earpiece through which you hear the sound from these devices. Moreover, the sound is tailored to the user’s hearing loss and preferences. This kind of accessibility opens up a whole new world for hearing aid users allowing them to regain enjoyment in the simple things that we can take for granted such as talking to a loved one on the phone or watching our favourite TV show and not missing the punch line!
Q: How long do hearing aids generally last?
A: Hearing aids generally last anywhere between 3-5 years. This is not to say that all aids will need replacing by 5 years, but with technology changing so rapidly, it may be that your hearing aids are outdated by then. Improved digital sound processing and noise reduction are just two of the reasons why someone might want to upgrade their hearing aids. If your hearing aids are over 3 years old, you may want to sit down with your hearing health care professional and ask the question “Is there anything available that could improve my hearing?”