What to Look For When Picking Out Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already know that you need to get hearing aids, so now what? Hearing aids will soon become an important part of your life so purchase wisely. If you find some hearing aids which can only be purchased from the internet, then you can be sure they are likely to be pretty flimsy. It’s up to you to decide what you expect from the device and how much you can afford to spend. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Those Cheap Internet Imitations

While they seem to be a bargain, those poor quality internet hearing assistance devices will end up costing you more over time. They don’t get the job done very well or very efficiently. You have to buy new batteries so often that it ends up costing you a lot.

The only function that these cheaper devices perform is sound amplification. Modern, quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to create a device which can be customized to your needs. You can go cheap and purchase one online but you will miss out on several essential features.

You need to realize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place you want to look to save money. There may 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 offer better quality sound that is much more reliable. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

It’s likely all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. If you don’t know the difference you might confuse an analog hearing aid for a digital. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids process. Analog hearing aids have some major issues with consistent sound quality.

Finding The Very Best Features

Features and style are the two elements when hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to think about include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

You will notice, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to pick from. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost a guarantee. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

The names offer an apt definition of each. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which connects it to the BTE.

As is apparent by the name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very similar to ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal and that means that 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 unit behind the ear. Both styles are typically less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Rather than having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a kind of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is uncomfortable for some people. If this is the situation, an open fit model, which has a tiny tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the best choice.

Looking at all of these options, it’s time to decide which style and options will best fit your needs. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a feature 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 you won’t have to keep shelling out money for new batteries if you get a hearing aid with a rechargeable one.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, One that offers a free trial period and custom fits the device. Having the opportunity to try out your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the best decision.

You also want to look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What does it cover? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and how about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?

Make an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Your hearing issue might not even require 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.