Because so many medical conditions of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) affect a person’s hearing, Scottsdale’s ENT specialists are often asked to recommend the “best” hearing aids. In truth, though, there is no best hearing aid.
Choosing the right hearing aid is like choosing the best computer or phone – it comes down to what’s important to you and what your exclusive needs are when you’re using it.
While there is no “best” hearing aid, there is a best hearing aid for each person, based on several factors we will examine below.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Hearing Aid
The four main factors to keep in mind when choosing a hearing aid are:
- The severity of your hearing loss
- The shape and size of your ear canal
- Your lifestyle
- Your budget
Degree of hearing loss – Your hearing aid must meet your hearing needs. Some hearing aids are better for mild to moderate hearing loss while others are designed specifically for a severe hearing loss.
Ear and ear canal size and shape – There is no generic size of the ear or ear canal, which is why it’s so important to choose the most comfortable style for you and have it fitted by a hearing expert. Some common types of hearing aids include:
- In the ear (ITE)
- In the canal (ITC)
- Completely in the canal (CIC)
- Invisible in the canal (IIC)
- Behind the ear (BTE)
- Receiver in the ear (RITE)
- Extended wear
All of these will look different, and if the visibility of the hearing aid matters to you, some are practically invisible to the onlooker.
Lifestyle – Your hearing aid will need to perform well in the environments you frequent. For example, if you walk every day and your local weather is often wet and windy, you will need a hearing aid that can filter out wind noise and is moisture resistant.
Similarly, if you participate in weekly sporting activities, such as soccer or bicycling, you want to make sure the hearing aid is sweatproof and will stay in or on your ear, no matter how much you move your head.
Budget – Hearing aids range in price considerably, and your hearing professional will be able to recommend one based on the factors above and that also falls within your budget.
Prescription Advanced Technology in Hearing Aids
The amount of advanced technology available in prescription hearing aids is incredible. For example:
- You can have a hearing aid that has directional microphones, echo adjustors, own voice processing, and/or spatial configuration.
- You can choose hearing aids that stream music, TV volume, computer audio, and phone calls straight to your ears wirelessly.
- You can adjust many of the sound settings of your hearing aids in a compatible phone app.
- You can also have hearing aids that automatically distinguish the sound environment and adjust the filters for you, which is very helpful in a place where there’s a lot of background noise.
- Some hearing aids can connect to a telecoil system (T-coil) in public spaces such as a theater, church, or airport, so you can connect directly to the speaker’s microphone.
- Some hearing aids include a tinnitus management feature.
Other factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid:
- Consider the comfort of the hearing aid. Will you wear it all day? Some people wish to wear theirs at night too. The hearing aid will need to fit very comfortably if so.
- Do you have the dexterity to manage tiny controls or would you rather control everything from an app with large buttons?
- Do you mind changing batteries regularly or would you rather charge it every night?
Ensure Your Hearing Aid Will Serve Your Hearing Needs in Scottsdale, AZ
The only way to make sure your hearing aid is programmed correctly is to match it to the data from your hearing evaluation, which is why prescription hearing aids are so important for hearing health.
If you have not yet had a professional hearing assessment, schedule it here. We will give you the results immediately so that you know what your hearing needs are.
The Hearing Aids Scottsdale ENT Offers
Scottsdale ENT partners with many of the leading hearing aid manufacturers in the US to provide our patients with a large selection. The level of technology available in today’s hearing aids is remarkable, and we are sure we can recommend a hearing aid that will meet your needs perfectly.
One of our specialists will go through the list of factors above with you to quickly narrow down what you need and want, and we will also take into account your desired hearing aid color and any skin sensitivities or anatomical challenges of the ear you might have.
Schedule a hearing aid consultation with one of our Scottsdale ENT audiologists. As Arizona’s most advanced ENT care center and team of doctors, we promise we will take care of all your hearing needs.