What to Shop for When Picking Out Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already realize that you need hearing aids, so now what? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision since they will play a major part in your life. 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 expect from the device and how much you can afford to pay. 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 Cheap Internet Knockoffs

Internet hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they would appear to be. They are not very efficient and they don’t work that well. Batteries will be expensive if you need to replace them all the time.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices can do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your precise needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you choose to get a cheap online device.

You have to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every facet of your life so it’s not the place you want to look to save money. There might be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get what you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

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

Reputable sellers don’t even have analog hearing aids anymore. It’s important to know analog devices are out there, though, and to understand the difference. Analog means the type of audio signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Choosing The Ideal Features

There are really two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want a comfortable style that offers features that make your life easier. A few common features to consider include:

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

Think about the Styles

There are lots of styles available to you, as you will realize when you get started researching hearing aids. There is undoubtedly a style that will work for you, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:

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

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

As is obvious by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC means “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 indicates, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. Both styles tend to be less conspicuous 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 format works well for people who don’t like the feeling of something stuck in their ear.

Your job is to look at each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a function you would want if you use your phone or a computer regularly. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an ideal option and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered

A certified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to get your new hearing aids. The truth is, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the chance to wear them for a while helps.

A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to check that out as well. What’s covered? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?

Before purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. There could be several reasons you might observe a change in your hearing and they don’t all require 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.