Choosing Hearing Aids For Our Patients in Dublin

Widex invisible hearing aidsThe hearing aid test that we perform in Dublin is made up of many parts, while assessing your hearing loss correctly is critically important, it is actually the least important factor in selecting a hearing aid that is appropriate for you.  Our main concern is helping our Patients stay active within their life, allowing them to enjoy their life as much as possible. 

Therefore, the biggest consideration in fitting hearing instruments successfully is understanding the Patient's lifestyle needs effectively and making good recommendations based on that understanding.

Choosing The Right Hearing Aid

In some cases, a hearing professional can be selecting hearing aids for their patient before they are halfway finished with the hearing test.  However, we do things very differently, we will take time getting to know you, your hobbies and interests, your activities and needs.  We will want to understand what types of listening situations  you experience regularly. Are you relatively sedentary, just at home, wishing to listen to the television and radio mostly?

Understanding Your Life Needs

Are you working? If you do work, what type of sound environment do you work in? Do you attend meetings on a regular basis? Do you attend church or some other large social gatherings? Do you spend time in crowded areas? These are questions regarding lifestyle that are important in determining what levels of hearing aid technology is necessary to manage the listening environments that you experience on a daily basis. Simply matching you to a prescription and is not sufficient for real benefit in the real world and that is where you live.

Personalising The Evaluation For You

Personalising the hearing aid evaluation for you is key to achieving the best results for you.  We would typically request that a spouse, significant other, or loved one attend the test with our patients. If you can, you should make sure to bring one along with you. This way, we can get a better picture of each Patient's life, needs, and preferences. 

Watching you interact and observing your communication style is helpful in our understanding of what aspects of the hearing aids might be important for you.  Family members often assist in the hearing test process by offering  information about the your hearing experiences and specific challenges.

Understanding Your Personality

Another crucially important consideration in success with hearing aids is personality type. Studies have shown that success and acceptance of hearing aids are strongly correlated with personality traits. Personalities that are open to new experiences and are willing to adjust to new situations are more likely to be successful with hearing aids. However, just because you are not this particular personality type, does not mean that you will not have success with hearing aids. It just means that we need to take care to develop a treatment plan and an approach to counselling and follow up that is personalised to help you get the best from your hearing aids.

Physical Aspects & Your Dexterity

Physical aspects such as your manual dexterity, your ability to hold and manipulate small objects, your ear canal size, and your cognitive ability are key considerations in choosing the right hearing aid for you.  You need to be able to insert and remove the hearing aids we choose for you, you need to be able to change the hearing aid batteries yourself, unless you have a full time caregiver. If you can't put the hearing aid in or change your batteries, you will never get any benefit.

The Right Hearing Aid Technology

The physical style and appearance of the hearing aid has nothing to do with the signal processing or  daily function of the aid.  Any level of technology can be built inside any outer casing, it is the technology level inside the hearing aid that truly determines your overall listening experience.  In some cases a less expensive technology can work for an individual that can adjust well to the way a hearing aid sounds.  However, advanced noise control and complex signal processing capabilities are often needed to help people to hear better in complex sound situations.  With a simpler, less advanced technology, we have less control over adjusting the features when you have listening complaints.

Your Preferences

Obviously, your preference is paramount in the selection process.  Typically we will show you a number of hearing aid options that are based on your lifestyle, personality, financial factors, and cognitive ability. Ultimately, your personal preference will carry a lot of weight in the success of the overall experience and your use of the hearing aids.  If you don't like them, you probably will not wear them. So we will make strong recommendations, but if you will not wear the hearing aid we recommend, there is no point in fitting it!

In this sense, the interview process is quite important in determining the answers to all of these questions. The decision to get new hearing aids, or to wear them as a first-time user, is not an easy one to make. It is a considerable investment of your finances, time, and effort.  A successful experience is dependent on coordinating a number of elements including but not limited to lifestyle, personality, learning style, cognitive ability, finances, and preference. It is imperative that we consider multiple factors about your personal needs in recommending options for you. 

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