Sound quality is perhaps the most important consideration—it’s why you’re even considering hearing instruments, after all. Not every technological advance benefits every hearing loss, and it’s safe to say that even basic hearing instruments can deliver appropriate sound quality. Consult your hearing professional—he or she will help you assess the level of sophistication you need based on a range of issues.
The smallest hearing instruments are the most discreet, but they are, well, small. If your eyesight or dexterity are less than what they used to be, size may indeed matter. Alternatively, some new instruments adjust automatically or via remote control. Your hearing professional will instruct you as to your best choices.
Hearing instruments come in a variety of sizes, from tiny, completely-in-the-canal models to those that sit behind the ear. Many people are overly concerned about appearance, and it’s wise to remember that others will be far less aware of your instrument than you. Most hearing instruments are quite discreet. Keep in mind that hairstyle can also play a role.
Physical factors can also influence your selection of a hearing instrument. The shape and size of the outer ear and ear canal can make it difficult for some people to wear particular styles. For example, if your canal is extremely narrow, in-the-canal instruments may not work for you. Your hearing professional will help determine which hearing instrument options are appropriate for you.