When Selecting a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the next move when you’ve realized that you need hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty cheap ones available only on the Internet. Only you know how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to invest in. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?

Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more over time. They are very low-quality and don’t work very well. You have to buy new batteries so often that it winds up costing you a lot.

These low-quality devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic feature of hearing aids but that’s all they do. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be completely customized to your precise needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you decide to purchase a cheap online device.

Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. Hearing impacts every aspect of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. There might 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.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids offer better quality sound that is more reliable. Analog units are outdated and are not worth even considering.

If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the models will be digital. You need to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.

Choosing The Very Best Features

When you go shopping for hearing aids consider the two elements which are features and style. You want a comfortable style that provides features that make your life easier. A few common features to think about include:

  • Direct audio input
  • Synchronization
  • Directional microphones
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Environmental noise control
  • Variable programming
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Telecoils
  • Bluetooth
  • Noise reduction
  • Remote controls

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

You will see, when you start researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to choose from. There is undoubtedly a style that will meet your needs, and that’s the good news. The various styles of hearing aids include:

  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Open Fit
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. An ear-mold rests at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing that attaches it to the BTE.

Did you already work out that ITE units go “inside of the ear”? It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing 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 won’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 unit behind the ear. Both styles are generally less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is awkward for some people. If this is the situation, an open fit unit, which has a tiny tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the best choice.

When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into consideration, it’s time to decide which one that will be best for you. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a feature you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer regularly. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an ideal way to go and you won’t have to keep shelling out money for new batteries if you get a hearing aid with a rechargeable one.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your hearing aids. It’s hard 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.

A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, so don’t overlook that. 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 purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. There are many reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.