When people experience hearing loss, it can be very difficult to track the deterioration of their hearing without the help of an audiologist. Hearing loss is so slow and incremental that it can grow increasingly significant over the course of years or even decades. If you have experienced hearing loss for some time it has likely been going on far longer than since you first began to notice it. Still, there’s no need to worry. Thanks to the wonders of digital technology, hearing aids have become increasingly advanced in recent years. Today, even those with severe hearing loss may find that a hearing aid significantly increases their ability to navigate conversations and focus on voices, even in crowded spaces.

Still, not all hearing aids are created equal. Not all are up to the task of helping people with severe hearing loss, and it’s important to know what to look for in a hearing aid. While an audiologist will be able to make recommendations based on your specific needs, here are some tips to help you choose the right hearing instrument if your hearing loss is severe.

Choose a hearing aid with significant amplification

It may seem like a no-brainer but your hearing aid will need powerful amplification to make up for the decibel loss in your hearing. Those with severe hearing loss will usually struggle to hear anything under 70 decibels. Normal conversation is typically around 60 decibels. As such, a hearing aid with powerful amplification capabilities should be a top priority. Some hearing aids will generate feedback when turned to a high level. It’s vital that you choose a hearing instrument that can offer great amplification without distracting feedback. 

Look for hearing aids that detect higher pitched sounds well

When we are affected by hearing loss, we tend to lose certain frequencies first. Unless you have a reverse curve of hearing loss you will usually lose higher frequencies first. This means that you may struggle to hear voices over the phone as well as the voices of women in your life and your young children or grandchildren. 

As such, you’ll need a hearing aid with the capability to handle those higher frequencies that are often problematic for those with severe hearing loss. 

Choose a hearing aid with robust battery life

A hearing aid may take some getting used to, especially if you’ve never had one before. You may find that the quality of the sound you encounter is slightly distorted and your own voice may sound deafeningly loud. That’s just because your brain needs to reacquaint itself with the information that’s coming from your ears for the first time in years or even decades. 

After a few weeks you’ll likely forget that you’re even wearing your hearing aid until the battery runs out. At this point the extent to which your hearing aid has been helping you becomes all too apparent and you feel its absence most keenly. As such, you should choose a hearing aid that’s energy efficient and offers robust battery life so you’re less likely to be caught short without it.

Look for assistive technologies

As well as providing amplification for the frequencies you’re missing, many of today’s hearing aids are built with impressive assistive technologies. They can be wirelessly connected to your smart phone or your television. This can go a long way towards helping you to enjoy watching TV in your spare time without inadvertently upsetting the neighbors by having the volume on too high.

Take the time to find a good fit

Great sound starts with a great fit. A fit that is too loose can result in distracting feedback and whistling which is why it’s essential to take the time to find a great fit with ear molds that are shaped to the contours of your inner ear. While new hearing aid wearers will likely want to also consider the size and discretion of the models they choose, a good fit is essential to prevent the hearing aid from leaking sound, protecting the wearer from feedback and ensuring that they have the best possible experience with their new hearing aid. Please note that behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are generally more powerful and are usually recommended over in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids if you have profound hearing loss. 

How we can help

At Affordable Audiology, we are passionate about helping people find the perfect hearing aid for their needs at the right price for their budget. Our team of audiologists will work with you to determine your unique hearing needs and help you to make an informed choice on which is the best instrument for you. Want to know more about our services? Don’t hesitate to get in touch today! Call Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service at (920) 267-5220.