When Choosing a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?
What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need to invest in hearing aids? Hearing aids will soon become an important part of your life so choose wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty flimsy ones available only 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?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids
Hearing assistance devices that can be purchased from the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t get the job done very well or very efficiently. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it winds up costing a lot.
The only function which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the integrated technologies found in a modern quality digital hearing aid. You can decide to go cheap and buy one online but you will miss out on important features.
You need to realize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. It’s great to try to stretch your budget, but not when it concerns something that impacts every facet of your life like your hearing. If you are unable to afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
Digital hearing aids deliver better quality sound that is more dependable. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth even considering.
Reputable retailers don’t even carry analog units at this time. If you’re not aware of the difference you may mistake an analog device for a digital. Analog refers to the type of audio signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. Analog hearing aids have some major issues with consistent sound quality.
Finding The Ideal Features
When you go looking for hearing aids consider the two elements which are features and style. You want a comfortable style that offers features that make your life easier. A few standard features to think about include:
- Direct audio input
- Noise reduction
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
- Rechargeable batteries
- Directional microphones
- Wireless connectivity
- Remote controls
Think about the Styles
You will notice, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to choose from. Thankfully, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which works for your situation is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
The names offer a pretty good definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.
On the other hand, ITE hearing aids sit, as you may have guessed, inside of the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper inside the ear, making them harder to see.
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. Both styles tend to be less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.
Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. If you can’t deal with the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this style is a good choice for you.
Thinking about all of these options, it’s time to choose which style and options will fit your needs the most. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a function you would want if you use your phone or a computer frequently. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an ideal way to go 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 buy your hearing aids. It’s difficult to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you buy them.
A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, make sure to look for that. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Before picking out hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, also. Your hearing issue might not even require hearing aids.