What to Shop For When Choosing Hearing Aids
If you’ve recognized that you need to purchase hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids will soon become an important part of your life so purchase wisely. If you find some hearing aids that can only be purchased on the internet, then you can be sure that they are likely to be pretty flimsy. If you truly think that you can get a quality device for less money from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your decision. 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 Imitations
Hearing assistance devices that can be found on the internet are not really going to save you money and their not actually hearing aids. They are very low-quality and don’t perform very well. Batteries will get expensive if you need to replace them all the time.
The only feature which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to create a device which can be customized to your needs. You will lose out on some 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 understand them that way. If you can’t hear very well it will make your life very difficult and could end up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. There may be other ways that you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get the ones you really need.
Analog Vs. Digital
Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is more reliable. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.
If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the devices will be digital. You need to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog means the kind of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.
Finding The Perfect Features
Features and style are the two aspects of hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to consider include:
- Directional microphones
- Remote controls
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
- Direct audio input
- Rechargeable batteries
- Variable programming
- Noise reduction
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
You will discover, when you begin researching hearing aids, that there are many styles to choose from. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your situation is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
The names provide a pretty good definition for each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.
Did you already figure out that ITE units go “in the ear”? It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing 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 don’t see them so much.
RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.
As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of having something in your ear, this format is a good choice for you.
When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to choose the one that would be best for you. Bluetooth capability, for example, is a function you would want if you use your phone or a computer regularly. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is ideal for listening to lectures or seminars.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered
You want to purchase your hearing aids from a qualified retailer, One that offers a free trial period and custom fits the device. It’s difficult to be confident that you are making the right choice if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you buy them.
A quality hearing aid has a good warranty so be sure to look into that as well. What’s covered? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and what about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?
Schedule an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. There could be several reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.