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Are You a Good Candidate for a Hearing Aid? Here's One Way to Tell

Not all people are good candidates for a hearing aid and up until now, it’s been a hit-or-miss proposition. Sure, lots of wearers swear by their hearing devices. Some consider them a necessary nuisance, and some just won’t wear them – despite the high-end cost for a device that’s loaded with the latest.

Acceptable Noise Level (ANL)

ANL is quantifiable through testing by a hearing health professional. The test, which only takes three minutes to administer, determines ANL by subtracting background noise level (BNL) from the most comfortable listening level (MCL) in an equation that looks like this: MCL – BNL = ANL.

The test begins with a narrator reading a story at the subject’s MCL. Then, neutral background noise level (BNL) is increased over the narrator’s voice to the point where it exceeds the comfort level of the test subject. The result is your acceptable noise level or ANL.

ANL and Hearing Aid Use

Despite the incredible strides made in hearing aid technology over the past decade, nothing is going to replace what comes to you naturally. And some people simply don’t like what they hear or how they hear using hearing aids.

Try Before You Buy

According to researchers, they’re able to predict whether an individual is a good candidate for a hearing aid with 85% accuracy. Not perfect, but a pretty good indicator of whether you should be thinking about getting hearing assistance courtesy of the latest in digital technology.

If the test reveals that you’d benefit from a hearing aid, proceed to step two. If not, don’t waste your money on something that isn’t going to improve your ability to hear. But don’t be surprised if, somewhere down the road, you change your mind.

Hearing is a quality of life concern and as hearing deteriorates, more prospective hearing aid wearers seek help.

So take the ANL test at your audiologist’s office. With more complete information, backed by testing under real-world, “noisy” conditions, you’ll be better prepared to make the right decision about pursuing the purchase of a hearing aid.

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