When Choosing a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need to invest in hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty flimsy ones available only on the Internet. Only you know how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to invest in. When shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They don’t work very well or very effectively. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it winds up costing a lot.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices do. Customization to your exact needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found in a modern quality digital hearing aid. You will miss out on some essential features if you choose to purchase a cheap internet device.

You need to realize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it can make your life very difficult and could wind up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. There might be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get what you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids deliver better quality sound that is much more reliable. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth even considering.

It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at quality retailers will be digital. It’s worthwhile to recognize analog devices are still out there, though, and to understand the difference between the two. Analog refers to the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Choosing The Ideal Features

There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want a comfortable style that provides features that make your life easier. A few common features to consider include:

  • Noise reduction
  • Bluetooth
  • Remote controls
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Synchronization
  • Directional microphones
  • Telecoils
  • Environmental noise control
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Variable programming
  • Direct audio input

Consider the Styles

You will notice, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to choose from. That is great news because it means that there is undoubtedly a style that will be perfect for you. Some of the different styles are:

  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • Open Fit
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)

To get a fairly good idea of each style just take a look at the names. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. It attaches to clear tubing and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE hearing aids go “in the ear”? This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC means “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you don’t see them so much.

RIC devices and RIE devices have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a piece behind the ear. Both styles are typically less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. This style works well for anyone who doesn’t like the feeling of something stuck in their ear.

After going over all of these options, it’s time to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. As an example, Bluetooth is a great function to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or computer regularly. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is a great way to go and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. The fact is, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the chance to wear them for a while helps.

A good quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?

Before picking out hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing issue may not call for hearing aids.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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