Hearing Aid: INFO
As a Hearing Instrument Practitioner, it is part of my job to help educate the public on hearing awareness and hearing instruments. There is a great lack of education available or known to the general public on hearing instruments and even “hearing “, for that matter. If you have not yet had the chance to attend one of my seminars or open house events and are among those who are at a loss when it comes to hearing instruments; then this short article is just for you.
When selecting a hearing instrument, there are four key variables one should consider before purchase to ensure a high success rate. Often these variables can be overlooked which may lead to an unpleasant experience with a hearing instrument. To ensure a pleasant and successful fitting, here are some important aspects to consider:
1.STYLE - Certain styles of hearing instruments will fit a degree of hearing loss better than others. When selecting a style, consider how easy it will be to insert and handle. It is important to consider the cosmetic appeal and comfort as well since this is a device that will be worn for long periods at a time.
2. MANUFACTURER-There are many manufacturers of hearing aids available in Ontario. When selecting a manufacturer, a few things to consider are: warranty, customer service, and technology options. Not all manufacturers may suit a certain users needs. Did you know that some manufacturers offer wireless capabilities for hearing instruments? This would allow us the ability to synchronize your cell phone or television to stream audio directly to your hearing aids, and the ability to control the settings of your hearing aid using a remote control.
3.PERFORMANCE LEVEL - Most manufacturers have at least 4 performance levels of hearing instruments: basic needs, standard, intermediate and advanced. When choosing a hearing instrument, one should choose a performance level according to their type of lifestyle. The main difference on the performance levels of hearing instruments is how well they will perform in background noise and the complexity of adjustments that can be made within the hearing instrument platform by your practitioner.
- Basic needs instrument- Ideal for very quiet lifestyles. This would include one on one conversations and watching television.
- Standard- Ideal for a quiet lifestyle; however, still engages in conversation with one or more people, television and phone conversations.
- Intermediate- Developed for more active lifestyles seeking better hearing within background noise, small groups of people, meetings and places of faith.
- Advanced- Made for individuals with an active lifestyle who want ease of hearing in all listening environments. Such environments would include; restaurants, social events, workplace and family gatherings.
4. HEARING INSTRUMENT PRACTITIONER - Choosing the right Hearing Instrument Practitioner is almost as important as the hearing instrument chosen. Your hearing is a vital sense in which you need to be confident and comfortable with whom is treating your loss.