What to Shop For When Selecting Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need to invest in hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision since they will play a major part in your life. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, while the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found on the internet. If you truly believe that you can get a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice will be how well you hear, and that’s your choice. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Those Internet Imitations

Hearing assistance devices which can be found on the internet are not really going to save you money and their not really hearing aids. They don’t work very well or very effectively. 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 exact needs. You will lose out on quite a few important features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet device.

Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. If you can’t hear very well it will make your life very hard and may end up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. Be certain to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there might be other solutions.

Digital Vs. Analog

A better quality, more reliable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent also. If you come across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.

If you consult with a reputable hearing aid seller, all of the hearing aids will be digital. You should be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. Analog hearing aids have some major problems with consistent sound quality.

Selecting The Very Best Features

There are really two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to consider include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

When you start researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are numerous styles on the market. There is definitely a style that will be right for you, and that’s the good news. Some of the different styles are:

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

The names offer a pretty good definition of each. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where it goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold which sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE hearing aids go “inside of the ear”? It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. 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 hearing aids have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a piece behind the ear. Both styles tend to be less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.

Rather than having ear-molds, open fit devices, which are a kind of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feeling of something stuck in their ear.

After taking all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to decide which one that would best fit your needs. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer a lot, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth capabilities. You can save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. Having the opportunity to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the right choice.

You also want to look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?

Before buying hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Not all changes to your hearing call for purchasing hearing aids.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.