Are you needing assistive listening devices? It’s hard to take the step to acknowledge that you don’t hear the way you used to, but getting the assistive listening support you need to function as you should can have a profound impact on your way of life.
If you have to keep your television on the highest volume setting just to follow whats going on, you might find assistive listening devices that fill the needs you have. If you struggle to follow conversations when there’s a lot of background noise, you might find substantial improvement with the right assistive listening devices. If hearing and understanding dialogue over the phone is your struggle, there are assistive listening devices for you.
If you (understandably) feel stressed at the thought of shopping for hearing aids and other assistive hearing devices, check out our list of tips for making the process better and easier:
Four Tips for Choosing the Right Assistive Hearing Equipment
- Bring Your Support Group
They say two heads think better than one. We like to say, four ears hear better than two. Bring a friend or spouse or family member with you to your appointment with the audiologist. Not only will your support person be able to help make sure that the hearing support choices that are being made for you are the best for your situation, it also makes the outing easier and more enjoyable.
If you are really dreading this entire experience, try making a day of it. You and your support person can have brunch, go to your appointment, and maybe do a little shopping, or whatever makes you look forward to an event. The less stressful the day is, the more likely you’ll have the clarity to make the best choices for your hearing needs.
- Go to the Right Hearing Professional
Making the best choices for your hearing needs is hinged on being treated by the best audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. A hearing instrument specialist has the same licensing to provide hearing assistance equipment that audiologists have, but audiologists undergo far more education to obtain their title — most audiologists have a masters or doctoral degree to help them match you with the hearing equipment you need.
We aren’t saying that you should always go to an audiologist over a hearing instrument provider. There are a lot important qualities that the person who treats you needs to possess beyond their title. Are they good at listening and communicating? Do they have a good reputation with other clients? Do they have lots of experience? The point is, it’s important to take the time to research who you go to before you make an appointment to talk about assistive hearing devices.
- Consider Your Priorities
Every person’s hearing loss is different. Some people are unable to hear high or low pitches. Some people can’t distinguish words when there is a lot of background noise. Some people cannot make out sound when the speaker is too far away, like in church or at a conference. An important part of choosing the right assistive hearing devices is understanding the needs and priorities you have for them.
Your hearing specialist might be very good at their job, but only you know what your lifestyle is and what you’re hoping to get out of your hearing aids. Considering this before you go in to your appointment will help you ensure that you end up with the equipment you need to carry on with a successful life.
- Take the Time to go Through Testing
When you visit a good audiologist, they’ll take the time to do extensive testing to better understand what your needs are, and to match you with the devices that will best meet those needs.
When you go to your appointment, you’ll likely be put in a soundproof booth to take a hearing test. These tests involve listening to sounds in various pitches, to identify the type of hearing loss you have. After this has been determined, your hearing specialist can properly fit you with the hearing technology that you need. The point is, without testing, there’s no way for your hearing professional to customize the assistive hearing devices best for you; if they don’t offer testing, find a new audiologist!