Hearing aids can be life-changing devices for people who have suffered significant hearing loss. However, people who are hard of hearing are usually the last to realize that they need hearing aids. Hearing loss causes sounds to be diminished equally and gradually, and people often subconsciously adapt to not being able to hear as well. Usually, the question of whether to buy a hearing aid is raised by a concerned friend, family member or doctor. Have you suffered significant hearing loss, and have others recommended to you that you invest in a hearing aid? If the answer to both questions is "yes," then now's a good time to start thinking about this decision.[AD:foo]
There are several types of hearing aids on the market today. While all
preform the same basic operation, different models amplify sound with
varying degrees of clarity. Customers can also choose between various
styles of hearing aids that fit in the ear differently. The smallest
hearing aids fit completely in the ear or in the ear canal; they're less
likely to pick up wind noise, but they offer fewer features and their
smaller batteries wear out faster than batteries of larger hearing aids.
Half-shell and full-shell hearing aids are more visible than hearing
assistance devices found within the ear canal, but they're larger,
easier to adjust and have greater battery lives. The largest and most
powerful hearing aids fit behind the ear. Most people would prefer
smaller, more discreet hearing aids, but the large models are superior
for people with the most severe hearing loss.
Hearing aids have improved tremendously over the years, with advanced models softening background noise while amplifying sounds that are most important to their wearers. Smaller hearing aids are much more powerful than they used to be, meaning many people who need hearing assistance can use these models without needing to feel subconscious about having large hearing aids. If you think you might need a hearing aid, complete our quiz below to gain more insight. Talk to your doctor to learn if getting a hearing aid is the right choice for you.