Are you purchasing your first hearing aids? What you should know

If you've been diagnosed with a hearing complication, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to hearing aids. The hearing aid industry has expanded significantly over the past few years. From simple analogue devices, you can now expect to come across smart, rechargeable machines that produce rich sound while connecting to multiple devices.

You may be tempted to start looking into complex features and advanced hearing aid designs. However, as a first-time buyer, you should focus on functionality before features. Here's your guide to selecting the best hearing aids for your initial purchase.

Know what you need for your condition

Your first priority should be to select hearing aids that meet your auditory requirements. After diagnosis, your hearing specialist should provide you with detailed information regarding the type of device you need to correct any hearing complications. This information will help you sieve through many choices in the market as a first-time shopper.

At the very least, your hearing aid device should enable you to amplify weak signals, filter out noise and manage tinnitus.  

Sound clarity

After meeting the minimum requirement, you should focus on having the highest clarity of sound. Even after correcting for amplification, you may still struggle with muffled sounds. Look for hearing aids that prioritise sound clarity so you can enjoy a quality signal whenever you're out and about. Sound clarity also makes you spend less effort when hearing sounds in your environment.

In-ear vs on-ear vs behind the ear

The next thing to consider is how you will wear your hearing aids. The most common mounting styles are in-ear, on-ear and behind-the-ear. In-ear hearing aids fit inside the ear canal and provide a discreet option for patients with hearing loss. Behind the ear hearing aids are for those who need a powerful device that can amplify weak signals. They fit behind the ear canal and have a connecting piece that fits in your ear canal. This design also prevents issues such as skin irritation and ear infections.

On-ear devices are perhaps the most conspicuous — but also the most comfortable — options. They come in multiple colours and designs to match your specific preferences.  

Smart features

After taking care of amplification and clarity, you can now start exploring the numerous features that come packed in modern hearing aids. Perhaps the most common is smart connectivity.

Smart hearing aids allow you to connect your device to a smartphone or other wireless devices. In this way, you can adjust multiple settings so as to improve the quality of sound. Hearing aids also come with interactive apps that you can use to adjust amplification, clarity, power and other options.

To learn more about hearing aid devices, consult a resource in your area.