Each hearing aid manufacturer produces a full line of hearing aids available in a wide variety of styles. Determining which one is best for you can be challenging, so your audiologist takes a number of factors into consideration when making their recommendation.
Type and Degree of Hearing Loss
Not everyone with hearing loss can benefit from the use of a hearing aid. In order to determine your exact type and degree of hearing loss, your audiologist will have you complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation. After a physical examination and a review of your medical history, you will be given any or all of the following tests:
- Pure tone testing.
- Bone conduction testing.
- Speech testing.
- Acoustic reflex testing.
- Auditory brainstem response.
- Otoacoustic emissions.
The results of these tests will determine your degree of hearing loss, which is based on how loud sounds need to be in order for you to hear them. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are seven degrees of hearing loss. These include normal, slight, mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe and profound.
Levels of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are usually available in a basic, standard or premium category of technology. These levels don’t denote the quality of the devices but rather the number and type of features included within the hearing aid.
The level of technology you need in a hearing aid is determined by your degree of hearing loss as well as your unique listening lifestyle. Those who spend most of their time in a quiet environment do not require the same level of technology as someone who is leading meetings, hosting events or trying to carry on conversations in areas with a lot of background noise, such as Opal Restaurant and Bar or other busy establishments.
The final step to determine the best hearing aid for you is to discuss what sounds you want to be able to hear better. This is important as someone who is a musician would require a higher level of technology in order to distinguish between notes, even if they spend most of their time in small groups. To learn more about selecting the best hearing aid or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, contact Hearing Services of Santa Barbara today.