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

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve decided that you need to purchase hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids are about to become an important part of your life, so finding the right type matters. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found on the internet. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to pay. When shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids

Cheap hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they would appear to be. They are very poor in quality and don’t perform very well. What you save on the device itself, you end up losing because you have to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

The only function that these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Modern, quality digital hearing aids integrate various technologies to create a device which can be customized to your needs. You will miss out on quite a few essential features if you choose to buy a cheap internet device.

You need to realize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every facet of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. 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.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids deliver better quality sound that is much more reliable. Analog units are outdated and are not worth considering.

If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the units will be digital. You need to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids process. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog models.

Looking For The Ideal Features

There are really two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life easier. Some standard features to consider include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

There are many styles available to you, as you will see when you get started researching hearing aids. There is definitely a style that will meet your needs, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:

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

The names provide a pretty good definition of each style. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which attaches it to the BTE.

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

RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These types of hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit models, 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. When 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, you need to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. As an example, Bluetooth is a great feature to have, particularly if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is ideal for listening to lectures or seminars.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

A certified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to buy your new hearing aids. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the best decision.

A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, so don’t overlook that. What does it cover? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. There are several reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and you may not even need 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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