What to Shop For When Choosing Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve recognized that you need hearing aids? Hearing aids will soon become an essential part of your life so choose wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty flimsy ones available only on the Internet. If you really think that you can get a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice will be how well you hear, and that’s your decision. When you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will end up costing you more. They are not very efficient and they don’t function that well. You have to buy new batteries so often that it ends up costing a lot.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your specific needs. You will lose out on some essential features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet device.

You need to understand that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. It’s great to try to save some money, but not when it concerns something that affects every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you think you can’t afford good quality hearing aids, there may be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

A higher quality, more dependable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent too. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.

If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the devices will be digital. It’s important to know analog devices are out there, though, and to educate yourself about the difference. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids work with. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.

Selecting The Ideal Features

There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to think about include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

You will see, when you start researching hearing aids, that there are numerous styles to choose from. There is most definitely a style that will meet your needs, and that’s the good news. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

The names offer a pretty good definition of each style. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold that rests in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE hearing aids go “inside of the ear”? This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC means “in the canal” and they are very similar to ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’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 unit behind the ear. These hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.

Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is uncomfortable for some people. When this is the case, an open fit device, which has a little tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.

After taking all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to choose the one that will best fit your needs. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a function you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer frequently. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is a great option and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your hearing aids. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right choice if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.

A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to check that out as well. What’s covered? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?

Before picking out hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, also. Not all changes to your hearing call for purchasing hearing aids.

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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.