For the millions of Americans who have hearing loss, hearing aids are usually the best option to help correct untreated hearing loss and resume a high quality of life. Many types and styles are available to suit every preference and lifestyle.Young man with hearing aid
 
Once a hearing healthcare professional recommends hearing aids for you, several factors will be considered when selecting and fitting a device. The best fit for you will depend not only on the severity and type of hearing loss you have but also your budget, cosmetic preferences, career demands and other concerns. 

Because hearing aids are personalized, not every brand, style or technology level of hearing aid is suited for everyone. Even two people with the same hearing loss may end up with different hearing aids based on other selection criteria. This can make comparing hearing aids difficult. It’s best to talk to your hearing healthcare provider about what options and features are ideal for you. U.S. News and World Report lists several things to look for when choosing hearing aids.

Types of Hearing Aids
 
Hearing aids come in several styles.
 
  • Behind-the-ear. It’s worn behind the ear and has a little tube that goes into the ear canal to deliver sound. Behind-the-ear (BTE) are the largest style of hearing aid and big enough to contain circuitry for special features, including directional microphones that allow you to focus on sounds in front of you.woman with hearing aid
 
  • In-the-ear. This one-piece hearing aid fits in the open part or outer shell of your ear and resembles a flat earbud. It can do the same job as a BTE, but with limited directional capabilities and fewer special features. 
 
  • In-the-canal. This one-piece hearing aid is the smallest available and is popular for cosmetic purposes. Some of these devices fit partially in the ear canal, and some fit completely in the ear canal so they are hidden from view. In-the-canal hearing aids have the fewest capabilities and features. 

Special Features
 
Many hearing aids now have the following high-tech features that make a big difference for the wearer.
 
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Customizable programs
  • Remote microphones 
  • Other Considerations
 
Many adults pay out-of-pocket for hearing aids, because they're not routinely covered bysmart phone with hearing aid attachements medical insurance. For children, insurance is more likely to cover hearing aids. Check with your provider to find out what's available to you. Other options for paying for your hearing aids may include financing offered by your hearing care professional, credit from a third party like CareCredit, charitable organizations or help from family members. 
 
Hearing aids are medical devices not meant to be purchased in a convenience store or online. Audiology facilities such as the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) can assist in picking the right device based on your needs.
 
Because your new hearing aids may take some time to get used to, hearing healthcare professionals will perform an initial fitting where they fine-tune features and adjust levels to ensure you are receiving the most benefit from the devices. It is important to note there is an adjustment period when wearing new devices, and it takes time to get used to new hearing aids, even if you’ve worn some type of hearing aid for many years.
 
According to PEI’s  Dr. Rebecca Blaha, "Regardless of the aid you choose, the most important aspect of the fitting is how the device is programmed. Be sure your provider follows best practices, which would include a real ear probe microphone assessment of the hearing aid settings. This is the best way to ensure that your hearing is improved. Additionally, give yourself time to adapt to the fit and volume of your devices. Think of it like breaking in a new pair of shoes. At first things will be different and uncomfortable, but over time they will be comfortable and you won't know how you lived without them.”Hearing aid fitting
 
If you have a question about your hearing aids or think you may need one, contact the Pennsylvania Ear Institute today for an appointment at 215.780.3180.
 
Read more on U.S. News and World Report article What to Look for in a Hearing Aid.