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Learning About Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment and Research

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Learning About Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment and Research

Need To Buy Hearing Aids? Here's What You Need To Know

by Carla Hudson

If you are in the market to buy hearing aids, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are so many options and features to consider that it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, your audiologist is there to help. Here's what you need to know to navigate the purchase.


The first step in selecting the right hearing aid is finding one that fits properly. When a hearing aid is loose, you experience feedback. Your ear "lengthen[s] at a rate of about .22 millimeters per year," and, unfortunately, those changes in your ear from year to year affect the fit of your hearing aid, which means the average life of your hearing aid is five years or less.


Hearing aids come in several different styles, each of which is suited for different hearing loss levels and personal preferences, including:

  • Behind-the-ear. This style of hearing aid sits behind the ear and uses a thin tube that runs down to fit inside the ear canal. It is what most people picture when they think of hearing aids.
  • Half-shell. A half-shell hearing aid sits inside the ear flush with the outside cartilage and ear lobe. It is smaller and less visible than behind-the-ear models.
  • In-the-ear. This style of hearing aid fits inside the ear and is tailored to your ear's shape.
  • Completely-in-canal. This type of hearing aid fits deep into the ear canal and is barely visible. However, its small size may not be suitable for those with more severe hearing loss.

Your audiologist will help you decide which type is best suited for your needs and lifestyle.


When it comes to technology, hearing aids have come a long way. If you need to buy hearing aids, consider these tech options:

  • Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids allow users to connect their devices with phones, TVs, computers, and other audio sources wirelessly. This connectivity is helpful because it allows users to stream audio directly into their hearing aids, allowing them to hear without raising the volume too loud for their hearing companions to bear.
  • Noise reduction. Many hearing aids offer noise-reduction technology, which helps reduce background noise and lets users focus better on the sounds they need to hear. In other words, the hearing aid can isolate the sound of a person's voice at a cocktail party while minimizing the other sounds in the loud room.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI). AI has been in the news lately as the world realizes all it can do. Hearing aids with AI technology anticipate what the speaker is saying and fill any gaps. In other words, if the speaker's third word is unintelligible due to mumbling or loud background noise, the AI embedded in the hearing aid can predict what the speaker said.

If you need to buy hearing aids, it may seem overwhelming. However, with some research and guidance from your audiologist, it doesn't have to be.