You’ve resigned yourself to the fact that it’s time to get a hearing aid. You’re tired of having to turn captions on the TV so you can “hear” what they’re saying. You’re embarrassed to keep saying “what?” every time someone asks you a question. Hearing someone through their mask is almost impossible, as is listening to a conversation when there is any background noise at all.
So, congratulations on your decision to improve the quality of your life with a hearing aid! The only regret you’re going to have is that you didn’t choose to do it sooner.
But when purchasing a hearing aid, where in the world do you even start? There are so many different decisions to be made, so many other brands to buy, and so many various features to consider. Will people be able to notice you have a hearing aid in? Will it have Bluetooth features that allow you to answer phone calls and listen to music through it too? Or do they make hearing aids with none of those newfangled things on them – just a simple hearing device?
Of course, our team at Excel ENT is here to help you make the right choice when it comes to the hearing aid that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
We understand you probably don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why we’ve created a primer for you that outlines all the things you’ll need to consider when purchasing a hearing aid. Of course, we’ll be right with you every step of the way to evaluate what’s important to you and help you make the best selection.
A general overview of the top hearing aids on the market today
Hearing aids these days are much more than just devices that allow for better speech understanding. You can do so many more things than you ever imagined with them!
For example, the Unitron hearing aid line allows you to remotely adjust your hearing aid’s transition from a new wearer to a different level of peak performance as you get used to them. They are known as the hearing aid line that allows you to hear speech with fantastic clarity, even in a room full of noise.
The Phonak hearing aid line offers a hearing aid that is the only 100% invisible hearing aid available today. It also lasts for months without replacement, changing batteries, or maintenance, making it a great hearing aid choice when you want something easy to manage.
For more tech-savvy people, the Resound hearing aid line offers distortion-free sound and direct streaming from iOS and Android devices!
And speaking of more tech-savvy people…
Are you a technology geek? You’ll be blown away at what some hearing aids can do.
Of the three brands mentioned above, you have such technology options as:
- Listening to music through your mobile phone. The hearing aid in this scenario becomes like wireless headphones!
- Many also allow you to make hands-free phone calls right from your hearing aids.
- Several of our hearing aid options allow you to stream crystal-clear stereo sound from the television directly to your ears — some allow this feature from up to 23 feet away!
- Many hearing aids come with apps that work from your mobile devices, allowing you to get real-time hearing aid adjustment in real-life environments (like restaurants, meetings, work, and school.)
Who knew, right?
The critical importance of a probe-microphone fitting
Despite all of the cool technology features that hearing aids offer today, let’s don’t forget the primary objective of a traditional hearing aid fitting: it’s to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate amount of amplification for your loss at each frequency.
So how is this accomplished at Excel ENT? Through an audiologist’s use of a probe-microphone fitting.
Nearly 70-80% of audiologists neglect using real-ear measurements when fitting hearing aids. This is a big mistake, considering The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) strongly advise using real-ear measurements as the best-practice for verifying hearing aid fittings.
It’s safe to say you won’t get this type of audiologist-conducted probe-microphone fitting at a discount hearing aid store. It takes a licensed, experienced audiologist to perform this type of procedure, and it is critical for the long-term success of your hearing aid.
Remember this the next time you consider purchasing a hearing aid from a “big-box” discount retail store. It’s just not worth it when your overall goal is to have a properly-fitting hearing aid that’s customized to your type of hearing issue.
What if I realize that I got the wrong type of hearing aid?
There are several things that can occur after purchasing a hearing aid that may have you regretting the decision to get one. For example, maybe you’ve realized that the hearing aid you purchased doesn’t quite deliver the exceptional speech recognition you expected. Or perhaps the hearing aid is too complicated and has too many features for you to get a handle on. Or maybe something just seems “off” about the sound quality.
No problem! At Excel ENT, we give you a 30-day trial with your new hearing aid so that you have enough time to get used to it and decide if it’s the perfect hearing aid for you.
Get a 30-day free trial today on hearing aids from ExcelENT of Alabama in Birmingham, AL
If you’re looking for a new hearing aid, don’t put off making an appointment. We can conduct testing and get you fitted with a hearing aid that meets your exact desires and goals.
Enjoy hearing the TV again and listening to simple conversations with ease. Click here to schedule an appointment online, or call one of our caring office staff to discuss coming in at a time that’s best for you: 205-988-6858.
We are centrally located in the Birmingham market and we treat all types of issues dealing with the ear, nose, and throat. Patients rave about our results, and our compassionate clinical staff will resolve your problems with the utmost care and professionalism. Reach out to us today!