Do I need a hearing aid? How to choose a hearing aid? Do I need one or two hearing aids?

Let’s accept it, despite the information available on the internet, wearing a hearing aid is still a social stigma in India. People associate it with a handicap and try means to delay using one even when need arises. Hence no wonder the most often asked questions about hearing aids are – “Do I need a hearing aid?”, “How do I choose the right hearing aids?” and “Do I need one or two hearing aids?”.

At Dr Rao’s ENT, our hearing experts get this questions regularly and we have put together detailed explanations for each of your common queries about hearing aids. We have also compiled a list of common hearing aid myths and tried to dispel them. Read on to have all your questions answered.

Do I need a hearing aid?

Let’s address the first and most obvious question that comes to everyone’s mind. Do I really need a hearing aid? Before we get to the answer, you may quickly glance another article here we have explained in detail about types of hearing loss, which types can hearing aids help with, how does a hearing aid function, etc here.

Now that you understand what are the types and severity levels of hearing loss, let us see if hearing aids can solve your hearing issue.

Hearing aids are suitable for

  1. Any hearing loss that may not be medically treatable
  2. Where a person suffering from hearing loss needs a compensation for reduced hearing, typically in cases of mild, moderate and severe hearing loss.
  3. Even in cases where your ENT specialist or Otolaryngologist may prescribe medicines for your hearing issue, hearing aids can augment your hearing and improve the quality of your life
Do I need a hearing aid?

How do I choose the right hearing aid?

Now that we have addressed “Do I need a hearing aid?”, let’s help you choose one. Choosing the right hearing aid can depend on various factors such as the type and severity of hearing loss, your age and budget. Your lifestyle also plays a role in the decision as some types of hearing aids may not be best suited for a working professional or an athlete. Know more here.

Do I need one or two hearing aids?

If you have hearing loss in both ears, we would recommend hearing aids for both ears. This would provide a more natural signal to your brain similar to how you would naturally hear if not for hearing loss. This would also help you understand speech better and identify the direction of sound.

How do I choose a hearing aid

How does our audiologist help you choose the right hearing aids?

Our hearing aid specialists will start off with a comprehensive test to determine the severity and type of your hearing loss. Based on this assessment the treatment plan would be recommended – medication, hearing aids or a combination of both. Your doctor would help you identify the right choice by discussing the following with you –

  1. Do I need a hearing aid? – We have answered this question here in detail but if you visit our hospital for a hearing aid, our hearing aid specialist will walk you through these questions, only in more detail and in a personalized fashion!
  2. Helping you understand how hearing aids function and how they would help you
  3. How to get used to hearing aids
  4. What features are available and which would be useful based on your lifestyle
  5. Customizing the hearing aids to suit your needs
  6. Choosing the hearing aids with respect to your budget

Consult the best Hearing Aid Specialists in Hyderabad at Dr Rao's ENT to have all your Hearing Aids related questions like "Do I need a hearing aid?", "how to choose a hearing aid?" and more answered.

Learning to listen with hearing aids

Unlike eye glasses hearing aids take some time and training to get used to. We will assist you with this process, so there is no need to worry. Common issues new users face is discomfort, voice sounding too loud, etc. Here are the common issues faced –

  1. The hearing aids feel uncomfortable – Since you would be wearing an external object for the first time in/on your ear, it is natural to feel minor discomfort.
  2. You hear background noises – If you hear background noises your hearing aid might have to be adjusted to properly filter out these noises. Our audiologists can help you with this.
  3. There is interference when speaking over the phone – This is possible due to radio frequency interference caused by cellular signals. We would recommend to check with your phone when purchasing a hearing aid.
  4. Your voice sounds too loud – If you have been suffering from impaired hearing for a while, even normal sound levels may sound loud. Most users get used over a period of time and in rare cases we will make necessary adjustments.

Common hearing aid myths

This is a very common misconception. Though chances of getting hearing loss increases naturally with age, they are prevalent across all age groups. Hence there is no reason to believe hearing aids are limited to old people. In fact, if you are a young or middle-aged person suffering from hearing loss, you have long years ahead of you.  Neglecting hearing loss in early stages can have an impact on the quality of your life and affect your mental health.

Just like we wear eye glasses for different power levels, hearing aids are also prescribed from mild to severe hearing loss. Let us look at a scenario where you maybe suffering from mild hearing loss. Due to your inability to hear properly you may crank up the volume of your music, television, etc., which would damage your hearing further. Hence it is always advised to nip the problem in the bud and use hearing aids to address even minor hearing loss.

With advances in technology hearing aids have become compact and discreet. Gone are the days when a hearing aid is that bulky banana like object sitting on your ear! Many hearing aid manufacturers are also coming up with colorful and fashionable models to suit your taste.

Modern hearing aids can be programmed and our audiologists will customize them accordingly. Advances in hearing aids allow custom presets for different scenarios allowing you to have control on your volume levels.

Hearing aids are available in a wide range of price points depending on the type and features. Feel free to discuss with our hearing aid specialists who can recommend the best option for your budget.

This is a common misconception which leads to some inconvenience. If you are suffering from hearing loss for a long period of time, we incrementally tweak your hearing aids so that you adjust easily. This may require follow up visits and adjustments. This is not due to faulty diagnosis or treatment but a way to help you get accustomed to your hearing aids.

Imagine you have been riding a bike/bicycle holding it with both hands and all of a sudden one of your hand is tied behind your back. You can manage to ride for some distance but you would end up putting unnecessary pressure on one hand and may end up tripping in the process. Similarly, our body works best when both ears complement each other and distribute the load. We would highly recommend to get a hearing assessment even if you have hearing loss in one ear. Neglecting it for long periods can impact the performance of the one functioning normally.

As explained above, it is not recommended. Our brains can better judge sounds and distances when both our ears are functioning normally and to full potential. Kindly discuss with our hearing specialists to understand the best way forward.

Which are the top hearing aids brands and styles to choose from?

Some of the top hearing aids brands in India are Widex, Sonova – Phonak & Unitron, Starkey, Elkon and Siemens. Book an appointment with us for comprehensive hearing assessment and assistance in buying the optimum hearing aids.