Best Hearing Aids for Mild Hearing Loss
If you suspect or have been told you have a mild hearing loss, one of the first questions you may ask is “What is the best hearing aid for mild hearing loss?” First of all, if you haven’t had a hearing test yet, please reach out to a local hearing provider and get that taken care of- often times you can get a very simple screening done free of charge. If you do in fact have a mild hearing loss, the results of your test will be graphed on an audiogram (see image to the left) and your scores will be very similar to the scores shown on that image. If you haven’t had a test yet, you might consider using one of these free websites or apps to get an idea of the extent of your hearing loss.
If you do have a mild hearing loss, you are essentially a candidate for every hearing aid on the market, since they can all be programmed to fit a mild hearing loss. While you may be a candidate for all hearing aid styles, undoubtedly, 9/10 hearing providers will tell you that open-fit hearing aids are the best hearing aids for mild hearing losses. At ZipHearing, we definitely agree. Open-fit hearing aids have several unique characteristics which make them ideal for mild hearing losses, and for further reading on why open-fit hearing aids are so good, see this post: 10 Reasons Why You Should Wear a RIC Hearing Aid.
Below I’ll give a general overview of how open-fit hearing aids work, how they are worn, and how you can control them. The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the photo to the left, is what’s called the “casing” of the hearing aid. This is where the bulk of the electronics are held (as well as the battery). You’ll also notice that on the casing is what looks like a button, or control of sorts, and that’s exactly what it is. This is the button you will use to change the volume of the hearing aid, as well as change the program. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a hearing aid “program”, it’s simple to understand. Different programs allow the hearing aid to perform differently in different environments, like church, restaurants, etc.
You’ll also notice those small holes at the top of the casing, and this is your microphone port. This is where the hearing aid collects all the sounds from your environment, before processing them and sending them to your ears. The sound is processed inside the casing, where it then travels through the wire, and out of the “receiver” (that little rubber looking piece), and in to your ear. This is of course a very simplified depiction of what is going on- if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at how hearing aids work, see this article.
So what is the best hearing aid for mild hearing loss?
At the time of this post, I would say the best hearing aid for mild loss also happens to be the newest aid on the market, released 11/24/14, the Siemens Pure binax 7bx. This hearing aid uses a unique technology called Narrow Directionality, which many in the industry would consider to be the best technology on the market for reducing unwanted background noise and enhancing speech you want to hear. Siemens makes bold claims regarding this technology, such as “binax provides better than normal hearing in certain demanding environments.” Although new, this hearing aid has already been very well received by providers and patients alike and I think it’s technology is going to be more widely adopted by the other hearing aid manufacturers in the years to come.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.