What to Look For When Choosing Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already know that you need to get hearing aids, so now what? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will play a major part in your life. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can be found only on the internet. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to spend. When searching for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs

Hearing assistance devices which are purchased from the internet are not really going to save you money and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t get the job done very well or very effectively. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it winds up costing you a lot.

The only feature which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Customization to your exact needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found in a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. You will lose out on some essential features if you decide to buy a cheap internet device.

Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. It’s great to try to save some money, but it’s not a good idea when it comes to something that affects every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you are not able to afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids offer better quality sound that is much more dependable. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.

Reputable suppliers don’t even carry analog hearing aids anymore. You have to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog refers to the type of audio signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. Analog hearing aids have some major issues with consistent sound quality.

Looking For The Ideal Features

When you go looking for hearing aids consider the two aspects which are features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some standard features to think about include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

You will discover, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are many styles to pick from. That’s good news because it means there is certainly a style that will be ideal for your needs. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

The names offer an apt definition for each style. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold that rests in the opening of the ear canal.

As is apparent by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.

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.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit models, which are a type of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this style is a smart choice for you.

Your job is to go over each of these options and determine which of them is most important to you. For instance, Bluetooth is a useful feature to have, particularly if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is good if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered

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

A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Your hearing issue may not even call for hearing aids.

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