What to Look For When Choosing Hearing Aids
If you’ve decided that you need to invest in hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids are soon to become an important part of your life so choose wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. Only you can decide how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. When searching for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids
Cheap hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they would appear to be. They don’t work very well or very effectively. What money you save when you buy the device itself, you lose by having to constantly replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
These cheap devices will amplify sound, which is one basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your exact needs. You will miss out on some important features if you choose to buy a cheap internet device.
You need to understand that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but not when it involves something that impacts every facet of your life like your hearing. If you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
Digital hearing aids offer better quality sound that is much more dependable. If you run across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.
Reputable retailers don’t even carry analog hearing aids at this time. You need to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog makes reference to the kind of audio signal the hearing aid receives and the quality. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog units.
Finding The Perfect Features
There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to think about include:
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Directional microphones
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls
- Environmental noise control
- Variable programming
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
There are many styles available to you, as you will realize when you start researching hearing aids. There is undoubtedly a style that will be right for you, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
fairly obvious description of each style is offered by the names. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has a clear tube which attaches it to the BTE.
On the other hand, ITE hearing aids sit, as you may have guessed, in the ear. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing attaches 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. These types of hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.
Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of having something stuck inside your ear, this format is a smart choice for you.
Your job is to look at each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. For example, 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 great if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.
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. Truthfully, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be sure until you try them, so having the chance to try them for a while helps.
A quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What’s covered? Some will only pay for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and how about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?
Before purchasing hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. Some changes in your hearing don’t require hearing aids.