You already recognize that you need hearing aids, so what do you do next? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones that are found only on the Internet. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to spend. When searching for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
Cheap hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they seem to be. They don’t work very well or very efficiently. The money 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.
Amplifying sound is all these poor-quality devices do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be customized to your specific needs. You can go cheap and buy one online but you will lose out on important features.
You need to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it can make your life very difficult and could wind up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. Be certain to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there could be other solutions.
Analog Vs. Digital
A better quality, more dependable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent too. If you run across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.
Reputable sellers don’t even carry analog hearing aids anymore. If you don’t know the difference you may confuse an analog device for a digital. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids work with. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.
Looking For The Perfect Features
When you go shopping for hearing aids consider the two aspects which are features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few common features to think about include:
- Directional microphones
- Remote controls
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wireless connectivity
- Noise reduction
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
- Direct audio input
Think about the Styles
There are many styles available to you, as you will see when you start researching hearing aids. That’s great news because it means that there is certainly a style that will work for you. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
To get a fairly good idea of each style just take a look at their names. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. It attaches to clear tubing and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.
Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, in the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. 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 can’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 piece behind the ear. Both styles are generally less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.
Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is uncomfortable for some people. If this is the situation, an open fit device, which has a thin tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.
Your job is to look at each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer a lot, you will want a device that has Bluetooth functionality. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is great if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
You want to purchase your hearing aids from a qualified retailer, One that offers a free trial period and custom fits the device. Having the opportunity to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the best choice.
A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to look into that as well. What’s covered? Some will only pay for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?
Before picking out hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing trouble might not even require hearing aids.