If you’ve determined that you need to buy hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids are going to become an essential part of your life, so finding the right type makes a difference. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found on the internet. If you truly think that you can get a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice will be how well you hear, and that’s your decision. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?
Those Internet Knockoffs
Even though they seem to be a bargain, those poor quality internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more over time. They are not really efficient and they don’t work that well. What 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.
These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic feature of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Modern, quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to deliver a device which can be customized to your needs. You will miss out on some important features if you choose to buy a cheap internet device.
You need to realize that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it will make your life very overwhelming and may wind up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap with your hearing aids. If you think you can’t afford good quality hearing aids, there may 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 reliable. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.
It’s likely all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. If your not aware of the difference you might mistake an analog hearing aid for a digital. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids work with. The sound quality is very inconsistent with old analog devices.
Finding The Ideal Features
There are really two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some standard features to think about include:
- Remote controls
- Variable programming
- Noise reduction
- Directional microphones
- Rechargeable batteries
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
Think about the Styles
When you get started researching hearing aids, you’ll find out that there are many styles on the market. Luckily, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
To get a fairly good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. It connects to a clear tube and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.
Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, as you may have guessed, in the ear. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.
RIC devices and RIE devices 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 noticeable than BTE hearing aids.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. This format is a good choice for people who don’t like the feeling of something stuck in their ear.
After going over all of these options, it’s time to decide which style and options will fit your needs the most. For example, Bluetooth is a great function to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or 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
A certified retailer that has a free trial period and offers custom fitting is the best place to purchase your new hearing aids. Truthfully, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be sure until you try them, so having the chance to try them for a while is helpful.
You also want to take a close look at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. 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?
Before picking out hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, also. Your hearing issue might not even require hearing aids.