You already know that you need hearing aids, so what now? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will play a major part in your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones that are found only on the Internet. Only you know how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. When 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
Hearing assistance devices that can be found on the internet are not really a bargain and their not really hearing aids. They don’t perform very well or very effectively. You have to buy new batteries so often that it winds up costing you a lot.
Amplifying sound is all these poor-quality devices can do. Modern, quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to deliver a device which can be customized to your needs. You can decide to go cheap and get one online but you will miss out on several essential features.
Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. If you can’t hear well it will make your life very hard and could end up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. If you think you can’t afford good quality hearing aids, there might be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Analog Vs. Digital
A better quality, more reliable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent too. If you run 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 out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog means the type of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.
Selecting The Very Best Features
Features and style are the two aspects when hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life easier. Some standard features to consider include:
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls
- Wireless connectivity
- Directional microphones
- Direct audio input
- Noise reduction
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
There are many styles available, as you will realize when you begin researching hearing aids. There is definitely a style that will meet your needs, and that’s the great news. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
To get a fairly good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where it goes. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that rests 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 rests 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. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.
As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit models, which are a type of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of something in your ear, this format is a smart choice for you.
Thinking about all of these options, you need to determine which style and options will best fit your needs. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a function you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer regularly. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is good if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration
A certified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to purchase your new 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.
You also want to take a close look at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?
Before buying hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. There could be many reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and you may not even need hearing aids.