What to Look 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 to invest in hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision because they will play a major part in your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty flimsy ones available 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.

Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs

Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They are very poor in quality and don’t work very well. What money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

These low-quality devices will help amplify sound, which is the basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be customized to your specific needs. You will miss out on some essential features if you choose to buy a cheap internet device.

You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it can make your life very difficult and could end up costing you money, so don’t go cheap with your hearing aids. If you are unable to afford good 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 higher quality sound that is much more dependable. Analog units are outdated and are not worth even considering.

If you go to a reputable hearing aid seller, all of the hearing aids will be digital. It’s worthwhile to know analog devices are out there, though, and to understand the difference between the two. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Finding The Very Best Features

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

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

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

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

fairly obvious description of each style is offered by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, in the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper inside 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 unit behind the ear. Both styles are typically less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Instead of having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the feeling of something inside their ear.

Your job is to assess each of these options and decide which of them matter the most to you. For instance, Bluetooth is a great function to have, particularly if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. 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

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and 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 decision if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you buy them.

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

Before buying hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Your hearing trouble might not even call for hearing aids.

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