What to Look For When Selecting Hearing Aids
What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need hearing aids? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision 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 probably pretty flimsy. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to spend. When shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.
Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
Hearing assistance devices that can be found on the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t get the job done very well or very effectively. What you save when you buy the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your specific needs. You will lose out on quite a few essential features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet device.
You need to realize that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it will make your life very hard and might wind up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when you buy hearing aids. If you think you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
A better quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent also. If you run 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 important to know analog devices are out there, though, and to educate yourself about the difference between the two. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.
Selecting The Very Best Features
When you go looking for hearing aids consider the two aspects which are features and style. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life better. Some standard features to consider include:
- Environmental noise control
- Variable programming
- Direct audio input
- Remote controls
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wireless connectivity
- Directional microphones
- Noise reduction
Think about 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 choose from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
The names offer a pretty good definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold which sits in the opening of the ear canal.
Did you already work out that ITE devices go “in the ear”? It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.
RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is unpleasant for some people. When this is the case, an open fit model, which has a little tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the best choice.
When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to decide which one that will best fit your needs. For example, Bluetooth is a useful feature to have, especially if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is a great option and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.
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. It’s difficult to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you buy them.
A quality hearing aid will come with 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, also, and how about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?
Before purchasing hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing issue might not even call for hearing aids.