There are four primary steps that must be made when selecting a hearing aid. The hearing test is always the best place to start. Based on the test results, and a conversation to determine information about your specific wants, needs and lifestyle, we can then help guide you through choosing the style of the case that the hearing aid circuitry will be housed in, the performance level of the hearing aid, and finally, the manufacturer of the hearing aid. Our years of experience will ensure that you get the hearing aids that best suit all of your individual needs.
1. Have Your Hearing Tested
Having your hearing tested is always the best place to start the process of getting new hearing aids. This will provide your hearing health care professional with a thorough understanding of the impact that your specific hearing loss would present in day-to-day environments.
After your test, we will explain the results in plain, easy-to-understand language. If there is a hearing test, we will then provide you with the necessary information and guide you through steps 2-4 so that you can make the best decision to meet your unique hearing needs.
As a family centred company, we recommend bringing someone close to you to your appointment. Be it a family member or close friend. They will be able to offer another perspective of how you are hearing in day-to-day environments and support you in making any decisions to do with any hearing loss – a second set of ears is always helpful!
2. Choose the Style You Want
When choosing a style of hearing aid there are several factors to consider. First is the degree and nature of the hearing loss. Second is the need to match the power to the style of hearing aid. Cosmetic appeal and manual dexterity are also important considerations when choosing a hearing aid. We will help you choose the appropriate style of hearing aid to suit your individual needs.
Receiver In The Canal (RIC)
RIC hearing aids are the ideal solution for many first time hearing aid users with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. Their nearly invisible open design offers unmatched comfort and a very natural sound. Since there is so little material in the actual ear canal, they remain the easiest devices to adapt to. Most models include directional microphones for improved hearing in noise.
Invisible & Completely In The Canal (IIC & CIC)
IIC and CIC hearing aids are the smallest style and are nearly invisible. They are best suited for mild to moderate hearing losses. Sitting deep in the ear canal tends to allow them to work well with telephones and headphones. However, due to their small size, they require good dexterity and have a shorter battery life than some of the larger models. They also lack the physical space to include directional microphones.
In The Canal (ITC)
ITC hearing aids are slightly visible and are best suited for mild to severe hearing losses. With their slightly larger size, ITC hearing aids typically include directional microphones, which allow the hearing aids to locate where sound is originating, providing better hearing in noise. At this size, the hearing aids can also have a volume control on the devices.
In The Ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids have the same fitting range and options as the ITC models, but in a slightly larger design making them easier to insert and remove. They also have a larger battery size offering the longest battery life, while making it easier to change batteries.
Behind The Ear (BTE)
BTE hearing aids tend to be the most powerful models. They are ideal for moderate to profound hearing losses. For anyone with a very severe to profound hearing loss, this style is still the best option. Like the ITC and ITE styles, they typically have directional microphones for improved hearing in background noise, in addition to often having built in volume and program adjustments.
The newest style of hearing aids, extended wear offers unmatched simplicity for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are a completely invisible product, with no batteries to change and no daily insertion. They are installed by the audiologist and then remain in the ear for months at a time. Unlike most hearing aids, they can be used during almost all your daily activities, such as sleeping, showering, on the phone, in meetings or exercising.
3. Choose the Level of Performance You Need
Now that we have the style, it's time to choose between Good, Better and Best performance. The following graph displays the different listening environments which each is best suited.The price you pay for a hearing aid can range from $495 to over $3000 per aid. While this is an extremely wide range, it is important to understand that there are significant differences between the hearing aids at the various price levels. As consumers, we all want to get the best products and services at a price we can afford.
How is a more expensive hearing aid different than a less expensive one?
The price you pay is a reflection of the hearing aid’s sound quality and performance. As a rule, the more you pay, the better the product will work in more challenging listening environments, such as in groups, churches or halls, and other loud places where there is background noise.
Are smaller hearing aids more expensive?
Not necessarily. The price of a hearing aid has little to do with the appearance. You can purchase most styles of hearing aids in any price range. Also, the price is not associated with how powerful a hearing aid is and has very little to do with the brand.
Will I have to pay more for extra features?
In general, your hearing aids can be set up any way you want without affecting the price. Want a volume control or a program button? It won’t cost you any more. Most models even offer a remote control for volume and program changes at no additional cost.
Satisfaction vs. Performance Level
A recent study looked at overall user satisfaction with their hearing aids compared to which performance level they were using. The results strongly support the fact that in challenging listening environments, as you increase in performance, the separation of speech from noise is enhanced, and overall sound quality is improved.
4. Choose the Manufacturer With the Right Features
How Our Independence Benefits You
Our ability to deal with all manufacturers means that we will help you choose the BEST product for YOU! Unlike an ever growing number of our competitors which are owned by manufacturers, Davidson’s remains a family owned business, which allows us to choose from all manufacturers’ makes and models. Although it is true that all of the major hearing aid manufacturers now make very good hearing aids, there are significant differences in sound quality, programs, design and connectivity, which means that the brand which is best for one person may not be the best for the next. Our independence and relationships with all of the major hearing aid manufactures provides us the flexibility to prescribe the best possible products to meet our patient’s individual hearing needs.
Our years of experience will ensure that you get the hearing aids that best suit all of your needs. We have access to all manufacturers sold in Canada and can repair any of these makes of hearing aids. Although we carry hundreds of different models of hearing aids, and always suggest consulting with our hearing health care professionals before making a final decision, we have tried to put together some key information highlighting the most recent features and accessories from each of the main manufacturers that we work with on a day-to-day basis. Please click on the links bellow to view these products.