What to Look For When Picking Out Hearing Aids
What is the next move when you’ve recognized that you need hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice since they will become such a major part of your life. If you find some hearing aids which are only available from the internet, then you can be sure that they are likely to be pretty flimsy. 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
Cheap hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they seem to be. They don’t work very well or very effectively. What you save on the device itself, you end up losing because you have to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
The only feature which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Customization to your exact needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found inside of a modern quality digital hearing aid. You can go cheap and purchase one online but you will miss out on important features.
You need to recognize 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 affects every facet of your life like your hearing. If you think you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there might 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 higher quality sound that is much more dependable. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth even considering.
Reputable suppliers don’t even have analog devices at this time. You have to 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 work with. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.
Finding The Very Best Features
There are actually 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 think about include:
- Directional microphones
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls
- Variable programming
Think about the Styles
You will see, when you start researching hearing aids, that there are numerous styles to choose from. Thankfully, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost a guarantee. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
The names offer a pretty good definition for each style. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which 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 just one unit. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but 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 are generally less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than 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 format is a good choice for you.
Your task is to look at each of these options and decide which of them matter the most to you. As an example, Bluetooth is a useful function to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or computer a lot. 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.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
Most qualified retailers will custom fit the device and give a free trial period. That’s where you will want to go to buy your hearing aids. Having a chance to try out your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the right choice.
A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so make sure you check that out as well. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. There could be many reasons you might observe a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.