HEARING TIPS

What to Look For When Picking Out Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve decided that you need to get hearing aids, what will you do next? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision since they will become such a major part of your life. 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 shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Internet hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they would appear to be. They don’t function very well or very effectively. What money you save when you buy the device itself, you end up losing because you have to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

These low-quality devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the integrated technologies found inside of a modern quality digital hearing aid. You will miss out on some essential features if you choose to purchase a cheap internet device.

Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place you want to look to save money. Be sure to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there might be other solutions.

Analog Vs. Digital

A better quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent too. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at quality retailers will be digital. You have to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog means the type of audio signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog models.

Choosing The Very Best Features

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

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

There are a lot of styles available, as you will realize when you get started researching hearing aids. Thankfully, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your situation is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, inside of the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing 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 so you don’t see them so much.

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

Instead of 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 unpleasant for some people. When this is the situation, an open fit unit, which has a thin tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.

Your job is to assess each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a function you would want if you use your phone or a computer regularly. You can save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

A certified retailer that has a free trial period and offers custom fitting is the best place to buy your new hearing aids. It’s difficult 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.

You also want to look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What kind of coverage does it come with? Will 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 professional for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Your hearing trouble may not even call for hearing aids.

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