When Selecting a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?
You already recognize that you need to get hearing aids, so what now? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones available 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 invest in. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids
Cheap hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they would appear to be. They are very poor in quality and don’t work very well. The 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.
The only function which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Customization to your exact needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found in a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. Several significant features will be sacrificed if you choose to purchase a cheap online device.
You have to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it will make your life very overwhelming and could end up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. Be sure to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there might be other solutions.
Digital Vs. Analog
Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is much more dependable. If you come across analog hearing aids, move on and look at the digital units, instead.
It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you find at a quality retailer will be digital. You have to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids work with. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog units.
Choosing The Very Best Features
Features and style are the two factors when hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to consider include:
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
- Variable programming
- Remote controls
- Directional microphones
- Rechargeable batteries
- Noise reduction
Think about the Styles
When you start researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are a lot of styles available. There is undoubtedly a style that will be right for you, and that’s the great news. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
fairly obvious definition of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. It attaches to a clear tube and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.
Alternatively, ITE pieces sit, you guessed it, in the ear. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.
RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, 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 less conspicuous than a BTE.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feeling of something inside their ear.
Your task is to assess 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 talk on your smartphone or computer regularly. 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. Having a chance to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the right decision.
You also want to look closely at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?
Before purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing issue may not call for hearing aids.