When it comes to prescribing a hearing aid for your individual needs there are a number of factors your clinician will take into consideration. While the type and severity of your hearing loss are both important factors to consider they are only part of the story.
The other important factors are your lifestyle and personal communication needs. We must consider the types of listening environments you personally need the hearing aid to perform best in.
Do you regularly go out for dinner in noisy restaurants?
Are you a teacher or student who needs great performance in a class room environment?
Or is your biggest concern hearing the next bingo number called at your local bowls club?
While some of these may seem like fairly trivial factors; to your clinician your lifestyle and listening needs are just as important as the type and severity of your hearing loss.
So how does your lifestyle and communication needs relate to your new hearing aid?
Well to put it simply, each model of hearing aid is available in a number of different levels of technology.
As the levels of technology increase so too do features such as the number of channels the hearing aid has as well as the level of speech preservation and background noise reduction.
Listening environments are considered more challenging when there is a need to hear speech in the presence of background noise. The more background noise in a given situation, the more challenging the situation is considered.
Higher levels of technology provide better background noise reduction, meaning that the hearing aid is able to detect the presence and level of background noise and reduce the amplification of these specific sounds.
Higher levels of technology also provide better speech preservation. Speech preservation is the hearing aid’s ability to detect speech in the environment and increase the level of amplification of these specific sounds.