If you’ve recognized that you need to buy hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids are about to become an important part of your life, so selecting the right kind matters. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available 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 spend. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
While they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more over time. They don’t perform very well or very efficiently. What you save on the device itself, you end up losing because you have to constantly replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
Amplifying sound is all these poor-quality devices do. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found inside of a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. Several essential features will be sacrificed if you choose to buy a cheap online device.
You have to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but not when it comes to something that impacts every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there might be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Analog Vs. Digital
Digital hearing aids deliver higher quality sound that is more dependable. If you come across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.
If you go to a reputable hearing aid seller, all of the devices will be digital. It’s worthwhile to know analog devices are out there, though, and to understand the difference between the two. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids work with. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.
Selecting The Perfect Features
There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. A few common features to consider include:
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
- Variable programming
- Rechargeable batteries
- Directional microphones
- Direct audio input
- Noise reduction
- Remote controls
Consider the Styles
There are a lot of styles available, as you will see when you get started researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your situation is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
A pretty good definition of each style is provided by the names. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. It attaches to a clear tube and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.
As is obvious by the name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very similar to ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’t see them so much.
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 are generally less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.
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 can’t deal with the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this format is a good choice for you.
Your task is to go over each of these options and decide which of them matter the most to you. As an example, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will want a device that has Bluetooth capability. 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.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration
Most qualified retailers will custom fit the device and give a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your 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 is helpful.
You should also take a close look at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What does it cover? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?
Make an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t call for purchasing hearing aids.