A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing The Right Hearing Aids | Los Gatos Audiology
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Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!


Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

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Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!


Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

los gatos audiology logo header

Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!


Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

If you’ve experienced hearing loss and had a hearing health exam, your provider may have recommended hearing aids. These devices can significantly improve your quality of life by allowing you to engage in conversations, enjoy music, and stay connected with the world around you. But choosing the right hearing aids can be overwhelming, especially with the many styles, features, and technology options available.

Before you choose hearing aids, it’s essential to understand the type and degree of your hearing loss. There are two primary types: sensorineural and conductive. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common and occurs when there’s damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Conductive hearing loss, on the other hand, happens when sound can’t travel through the outer or middle ear due to blockages or structural issues.

Your provider will conduct a comprehensive hearing health exam to determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. This information is critical in choosing the right hearing aids. Some hearing aids are designed for mild to moderate hearing loss, while others are suitable for more severe cases.

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in various styles and designs, each with its advantages and considerations. Understanding the different types can help you make an informed decision.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids rest behind the ear and have a tube that connects to an earmold inside the ear canal. BTE hearing aids are suitable for a wide range of hearing loss, from mild to profound. They are often more durable and offer additional features like Bluetooth connectivity.

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids are similar to BTE but are smaller and more discreet. The receiver sits in the ear canal, while the main body rests behind the ear. RIC hearing aids are great for mild to moderate hearing loss and are less noticeable than traditional BTE hearing aids.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids fit entirely within the outer ear. They come in various sizes, depending on how visible you want them to be. ITE hearing aids are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss and can be easier to handle for those with dexterity issues.

Completely-in-Canal (CIC)

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet. They fit entirely within the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. CIC hearing aids are ideal for mild to moderate hearing loss but may not have all the features of larger models.

Features to Consider

When choosing hearing aids, think about the features that will best suit your lifestyle and hearing needs. Here are some common features to look for:

Noise reduction technology helps reduce background noise, allowing you to focus on conversations and other important sounds. This feature is particularly useful in noisy environments like restaurants or public places.

Directional microphones enhance the sound coming from a specific direction, such as someone speaking to you. This feature improves speech understanding in crowded or noisy settings.

Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids allow you to connect to smartphones, tablets, and other devices. You can stream phone calls, music, and other audio directly to your hearing aids, enhancing convenience and connectivity.

Rechargeable hearing aids eliminate the need to replace batteries frequently. This feature is more convenient for daily use and environmentally friendly.

Telecoil (or T-coil) technology allows hearing aids to connect with telephones and hearing loop systems, commonly found in public venues like theaters and places of worship. This feature improves sound quality when using compatible devices.

Customization and Fitting

Selecting the right hearing aids is just the beginning. It’s equally important to ensure proper fitting and customization. Your provider will work with you to fine-tune your hearing aids to match your hearing needs and preferences. This process may involve multiple appointments to make adjustments and ensure comfort.

Custom earmolds or domes may be necessary for BTE or RIC hearing aids to ensure a secure fit. Additionally, some hearing aids come with user-adjustable settings, allowing you to change the volume or switch between different listening programs based on your environment.

Choosing the right hearing aids requires careful consideration. By understanding your hearing loss and exploring the different types and features of hearing aids, you can make an informed choice that suits your lifestyle and hearing needs. Remember to work closely with your provider throughout the process to ensure proper fitting and customization.

If you suspect hearing loss, don’t hesitate to schedule a hearing health exam. Early detection and treatment can make a significant difference in improving your quality of life and maintaining your connections with the world around you. Take the time to explore your options and choose hearing aids that will support your journey to better hearing.