Hearing loss is a problem for millions of Americans. It has been estimated that at least 50 million people in the United States have ringing in their ears, this is also referred to as tinnitus. Out of every one thousand children who are born in the country, two out of every three have some level of hearing loss in either one of both ears. Some estimates put the number of people who avoid getting help for their hearing loss at 15 million. This only gets worse as we get older. At least one in three people over the age of 65 have some level of hearing loss. It is good to use hearing protection before a person sustains any level of hearing loss but help is available. Here are some tips to help you pick the right hearing aid for you.
- Think of your lifestyle and the activities you enjoy. When you are looking at hearing protection devices and hearing aids, it is important to take a look at the things you like to do. Do you spend a lot of time riding a bike? Hiking in the woods? Maybe you like to watch television or play pool down at the local pool hall. When you think about what you like to do, that can give you a sense of what kinds of settings in which your assistive listening devices will have to work. If you talk on the phone a lot, that will make a difference on what kind of hearing aids you look at. Knowing what you like to do will also give the hearing aid personnel understand the kind of conditions your device will be subjected to.
- Think about your previous experience with hearing devices. If you have previously used hearing devices or hearing protection, you already may have an idea of what kinds of devices you find comfortable and that work for you. Getting a hearing device that is comfortable will make a difference because you are never going to wear something that you do not find to be comfortable. No matter how great the hearing aid is, it will do you no good if you never wear it.
- Think about how well you handle technology. It can be hard to work with hearing aid batteries that are tiny. For older adults, there are sometimes issues related to their manual dexterity. There are some tools you can get to help remove and insert your hearing aid batteries but you need to make sure that you can adjust the settings and change out the battery for the hearing aid you pick out. If you cannot change the battery when it dies, your hearing aid will not do you any good.
- Think about your environment. This does not mean you should look at the weather but think about your work, school or home environment. If you are in a noisy space, you may need a hearing aid that helps tune out the background sound. If you work in a musical instrument repair shop, you may need to hear higher harmonies and tones. The kind of place where you spend the majority of your time can impact both the kind of hearing protection you can benefit from and what hearing aids would work for you.
- Try a few on. Before you commit to any hearing aid, take the time to go to the store and check them all out in person. You need to touch the hearings aids to find the right one.
It is really unfortunate that so many people do not get the help they need to correct problems with their hearing problems. A person’s quality of life can be greatly improved when they get the right hearing device for their needs and their lifestyle. It has been shown that even a slight loss of hearing in children can cause them to miss as much of half of discussions in their classrooms. People who develop hearing loss over the course of their lives are more likely to withdraw from social activities and settings. It is not an understatement to say that getting the right hearing help can give people their lives back.