The first step is a comprehensive assessment of your hearing loss and communication needs and then a full discussion with a skilled professional of the goals you want to achieve. The range of suitable devices will be narrowed by the type and degree of hearing loss. For example, severe and profound losses require more powerful devices which will usually be larger. Your lifestyle and the specific situations in which you would like assistance from the hearing aid will further identify options for consideration. If you lead a very busy life and find yourself in many challenging listening environments with lots of noise and people, then your needs will likely be quite different from someone who likes to live the quiet life, listen to the radio and garden. Sometimes ear health, comfort and personal preference will help determine the style of the hearing aid (eg, behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal, open fitting). Then budget and management of the aid need to be considered: do you want a remote control or would you like the hearing aid to do most of the work?

Do you want to be able to connect the hearing aid to the TV, mobile phone or laptop via Blue Tooth or a streamer? Your audiologist will make a recommendation based on all these factors, so try to think about what your needs are before your appointment and have a list of questions ready to make sure you come out with the device that is right for you.