When Choosing a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?
If you’ve determined that you need to invest in hearing aids, what will you do next? Hearing aids are about to become an important part of your life, so choosing the right type makes a difference. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, while 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 you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?
Those Internet Knockoffs
Internet hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they seem to be. They are not efficient and they don’t function that well. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it ends up costing you a lot.
These low-quality devices will amplify sound, which is the basic feature of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids integrate different technologies to deliver a device which can be customized to your needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you decide to get a cheap online device.
Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but not when it comes to something that affects every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you are unable to afford quality hearing aids, there might be other ways 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 Analog units are outdated and are not worth even considering.
If you shop at a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the units 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 refers to the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.
Choosing The Perfect Features
When you go shopping for hearing aids consider the two elements which are features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to consider include:
- Noise reduction
- Environmental noise control
- Remote controls
- Direct audio input
- Directional microphones
- Wireless connectivity
- Variable programming
- Rechargeable batteries
Consider the Styles
When you begin researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are lots of styles on the market. That’s great news since it means there is definitely a style that will be ideal for you. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
The names offer a pretty good definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. An ear-mold rests at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing that connects it to the BTE.
As is apparent by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC means “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 and RIE, as the name implies, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.
Finally, 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 something in your ear, this format is a good choice for you.
When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to decide which one that would be best for you. For instance, Bluetooth is a great function to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or computer a lot. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an excellent option and you won’t have to keep shelling out money for new batteries if you get a hearing aid with a rechargeable one.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration
A qualified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to purchase your new hearing aids. Having the opportunity to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the correct choice.
You also want to take a close look at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What kind of coverage does it come with? 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 picking out hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Some changes in your hearing don’t require hearing aids.