If you are considering a hearing test to check for hearing loss, congratulations on this first step! Wondering what happens after the test? If you do need hearing aids, your audiologist will discuss this with you and present several options. Determining how to select the best hearing aid for you is a joint effort and your audiologist has the expertise to guide you through the process. Here are four tips to help you prepare.

Do some research

Because there are many options when it comes to choosing hearing aids, you’ll want to learn as much as you can before you make a decision. Your audiologist will show you the different styles of hearing aids and discuss the pros and cons. There are essentially four types of hearing aids: those that fit inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible, those that sit in the ear canal, those that sit in the ear and those that sit behind the ear.

Consider your options

Hearing aids come in many sizes and for some people, larger may be better. For instance, if you suffer from arthritis or dexterity issues, you may find it difficult to change the batteries in a small hearing aid. Some people produce more earwax than others – that too can affect your choice in styles. Are you on the phone all day for work? There are hearing aids that work with Bluetooth. Some hearing aids offer speech enhancement, others have directional microphones that can block out some background noise. Some hearing aids are even waterproof!

Understand the limitations

While hearing aids are a valuable addition to improve your quality of life, they cannot reverse hearing loss. Hearing aids amplify sounds, turning them into digital signals that are sent to your inner ear and then to your brain. It will take time for you to become used to your hearing aids, and while your hearing will improve, it will seem a little different than the way you heard sounds when you were younger. If you expect to make a little progress every day, it should take about two weeks or so to become completely comfortable with your hearing aids.

Think about price

One reason people put off hearing tests is due to the anticipated cost of hearing aids. However, when you consider that hearing aids are complex digital units, you can understand the cost. There are hearing aids to fit just about every budget. Insurance may cover some of the cost. Hearing aids are an important purchase, however, they will help you daily for many years to come, so it’s crucial to make the right choice.

When it comes to how to select the best hearing aid for you, there are several factors to consider. But you’re not alone in making this decision. Your audiologist will guide you and work with you to select the best options available.