Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already recognize that you need to get hearing aids, so what now? Hearing aids are soon to become an essential part of your life so purchase wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty cheap ones available only on the Internet. It’s up to you to decide what you expect from the device and how much you can afford to pay. When you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Those Internet Knockoffs

Hearing assistance devices that can be purchased from the internet are not really going to save you money and their not actually hearing aids. They are not efficient and they don’t function that well. The money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices can do. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be completely customized to your exact needs. You will miss out on some important features if you decide to buy a cheap internet device.

You need to understand that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every facet of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. Be certain to get the hearing aids you actually need. Even if you can’t afford them there might be other solutions.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids deliver 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 Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.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 a quality retailer will be digital. You should be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog makes reference to the kind of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality of the sound. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.

Looking For The Ideal Features

There are actually two aspects to hearing aid shopping: 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:

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

Think about the Styles

You will notice, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are numerous styles to choose from. That is good news because it means there is certainly a style that will work for you. Some of the different styles are:

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

The names provide an apt definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold which sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE hearing aids go “inside of 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 inside the ear, making them harder to see.

RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. Both styles are typically less conspicuous 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. If you can’t deal with the feeling of having something in your ear, this format is a smart choice for you.

After taking 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 function you would want if you use your phone or a computer frequently. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an excellent 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.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you will want to go to buy your hearing aids. Having the opportunity to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the correct decision.

A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, make sure to look for that. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Not all changes to your hearing require hearing aids.

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