When size matters
Today, hearing aids come in many styles and sizes as well as different technology levels within each of these. When considering what hearing aid is most appropriate for you, there are many things which need to be considered.
Are you still actively involved in the workforce, bedridden in a nursing home, or one of several scenarios in between?
When it comes to hearing aids, it’s not one size fits all. A basic hearing aid, which is often cheaper than its counterparts will allow it’s wearers to hear well in quiet situations – 1:1 conversations, television viewing and telephone conversations.
Will you hear better in noise with a basic hearing aid than without? The short answer is yes – HOWEVER, the more advanced a hearing aid is (and yes the more expensive), the more it will be optimized for those more difficult and challenging listening situations.
An analogy that is often used when talking about hearing aids is cars and caravans. If you want to tow a caravan around Australia, you need to have a suitable vehicle to pull it along and go the distance. Unfortunately a small 1.2L engine will not be suitable. So why would you purchase a hearing aid that is not optimised for your lifestyle?
No one wants their hearing aid to be seen by others, however this is not always practical. Hearing is an unseen disability. If people do not know you have a hearing loss or a hearing aid is not visible, your lack of acknowledgement to a person’s question or comment may be seen as rudeness or ignorance. They may even think you are stupid. If your hearing aid can be seen, then people will be aware that you have a hearing issue and they need to get your attention before talking to you, look at you when speaking and talk a (little) slower, rather than louder.
As we get older our dexterity, eye sight and fine motor skills aren’t as good as they used to be. So is there any point in having a small discreet hearing aid that works really well, if you can’t change the battery, replace wax filters or insert into your ear correctly?
So the moral of the story – get the hearing aid that is most suited to your current or foreseeable future lifestyle and management. If you need to compromise because of your budget, that is okay too. Any hearing aid is better than the one you don’t have.
Remember whilst the initial upfront cost may seem daunting, this is a long term investment in your future quality of life. Meaningful communication outweighs isolation by lack of hearing and understanding. (Not to mention arguments and eye rolling from significant others when you “hear” the wrong thing.)