20% of people aged over 45 years suffer from a degree hearing loss. The numbers increase dramatically with an advance in age.Between ages of 65-74, the prevalence is at about 34%. This grows to 50% in people who are over 75 years.This means that you will very likely need to purchase an hearing aid sometime. Whether for yourself, family, or a friend, you need to know what makes a good aid.
The perfect hearing aid
Perfection is a very relative concept. What is perfect for you depends on your needs. A variety of aids is custom-made to suit a variety of market niches.Differences in requirements are usually due to the following factors:
- How severe the hearing loss is.
- Individual dexterity.
- Type of lifestyle
What to consider when purchasing an aid
The directional microphone
The directional microphone improves hearing in noisy environments. It makes the sound coming from in front of you louder than any other sound. Some aids have switchable directional and multi-directional modes. This is because you will also need to listen to the sound coming from your sides. Picture yourself walking down the block and someone shouting a greeting from practically anywhere.
Aids are known for irritating squeals during insertion into the ear. The feedback suppression works around this by delaying the power-on. This feature also enables you to raise and lower the volume without fear of feedback.Not all aids have this feature. You will want to purchase one with it.
The aid model
Hearing aids are available in five distinct models.
- Behind the ear
- Receiver in the aid (RITA)
- In the canal
- In the canal (Completely)
- In the ear
Each model has its pros and cons. It is important to determine what model best suits your needs. Smaller size usually translates to fewer features.
A proper fit will ensure you get the aid that best suits your needs. You should require the provider to perform a real ear test.This test ensures you get a perfect match for your specific hearing loss.The provider also has a duty to synchronize the aid with any piece of technology you have. It is not an easy task to link the aid to gadgets like your iPhone on your own.During the fitting, you should raise any concerns of discomfort to have them sorted.