May is Better Hearing and Speech Month…. an annual awareness campaign created to raise awareness about communication issues like hearing loss. In recognition of Better Hearing and Speech Month, we invited Blake Cadwell Founder and CEO of HearSoundly, to share some advice and thoughts for those who are thinking about getting hearing aids.
The Things I've Learned From Two Years of Hearing Aid Trial and Error
I first noticed my hearing loss in early high school during the hours spent on my Motorola Razr cell phone. Even at full volume, I was missing things. Later my hearing loss showed up in conference rooms at work. By that time, I knew that I relied on reading lips and would turn to see the faces of the talking colleagues.
My hearing loss became a known fact among my family and friends. My wife played interpreter, and colleagues helpfully repeated things I had missed. It was not enough to get me into an audiologist’s office until 2020. When everyone around me put on masks, I knew I had to do something. Without reading lips, I was missing too much.
Finally, on a Saturday morning in May 2020, I opened Google and started with a search for “the best hearing aids.” As the results filtered in, I knew I was in for a long research process. I saw options for $200, some for $7,000, and many products and brands describing their products in nearly identical ways.
The experience ultimately inspired my blog at HearSoundly.com where I share my experience with hearing loss and trial products like ReSound ONE and Jabra Enhance Plus. With two years of trial and error behind me, these are some of my takeaways and suggestions.
#1. Look for a fully customizable product.
In my experience, hearing aids listed at just a few hundred dollars are almost always a waste of time and money. The cheapest products (often found on Amazon) don’t account for your specific hearing loss and make all sounds louder. This brute-force approach is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.
#2. Hearing aids have a new look.
Hearing aids come in more styles, colors, and finishes than ever before. The days of all beige are long gone. My ReSound One hearing aids have an intentional design that looks more like a piece of modern consumer technology than a medical device. The Jabra Enhance Plus takes design even further with a style that combines Bluetooth earbuds with cutting-edge hearing technology.
#3. Remote care is the future.
I live in Los Angeles, where traffic and parking are barriers to easy doctor’s appointments. I’ve appreciated the remote capabilities that most leading hearing aids (including ReSound) now have. After an initial appointment, your audiologist can adjust the devices remotely. I recommend that all new hearing aid patients ensure that their new pair of hearing aids can be adjusted remotely.
If you want to read more of my reviews, experiences and advice feel free to stop by HearSoundly.com where I cover the best hearing aids, trends and ways to get started.
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