When Picking Out a Hearing Aid, What Should You Look For?

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve decided that you need to purchase hearing aids, what will you do next? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision because they will become such a major part of your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty flimsy ones available 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 Really Hearing Aids

Hearing assistance devices which can be purchased from the internet are not really going to save you money and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t perform very well or very efficiently. What you save when you buy the device itself, you lose by having to constantly replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is the basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Modern, quality digital hearing aids combine various technologies to deliver a device customized to your needs. You will lose out on some essential features if you choose to buy a cheap internet device.

You have to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but not when it involves something that affects every facet of your life like your hearing. If you are not able to afford good quality hearing aids, there might be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is more dependable. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.

It’s likely all of the hearing aids you see at quality retailers will be digital. If you don’t know the difference you might confuse an analog device for a digital. Analog makes reference to the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog devices.

Selecting The Ideal Features

Features and style are the two factors of hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to consider include:

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

Think about the Styles

You will notice, when you start researching hearing aids, that there are numerous styles to choose from. There is most definitely a style that will be right for you, and that’s the good news. Some of the different styles are:

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

A pretty good definition of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. It attaches to a clear tube and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE hearing aids go “in the ear”? It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper into the ear, making them harder to see.

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 tend to be less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a kind of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. If you can’t deal with the feeling of having something in your ear, this style is a good choice for you.

After taking all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to choose the one that would be best for you. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a function you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer regularly. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is a great option and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration

A qualified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to buy your new hearing aids. 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 has a good warranty so be sure to look into that as well. What does it cover? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t 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.