If you’ve decided that you need to buy hearing aids, what’s your next move? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice since they will become such a major part of your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. Only you know how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
Even though they seem to be a bargain, those poor quality internet hearing assistance devices will end up costing you more over time. They are not very efficient and they don’t work that well. Batteries can get expensive when you need to replace them constantly.
The only feature which these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found inside of a modern quality digital hearing aid. Several important features will be sacrificed if you decide to purchase a cheap online device.
You need to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to save some money, but it’s not a good idea when it comes to something that impacts every facet of your life like your hearing. Be certain to get the hearing aids you actually need. Even if you can’t afford them there could be other solutions.
Analog Vs. Digital
Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is more dependable. If you come across analog hearing aids, move on and look at the digital units, instead.
If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the hearing aids will be digital. You have 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 out-dated hearing aids work with. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.
Looking For The Perfect 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 standard features to think about include:
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Environmental noise control
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Variable programming
- Directional microphones
- Remote controls
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
You will see, when you start researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to pick from. That’s great news because it means that there is definitely a style that will work for you. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
The names give a pretty good definition for each. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has a clear tube which attaches it to the BTE.
On the other hand, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, in the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper inside the ear, making them less visible.
RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These types of hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this style is a good choice for you.
Thinking about all of these options, you need to determine which style and options will best fit your needs. As an example, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will want a device that has Bluetooth capability. 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
Most qualified retailers will custom fit the device and give a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your hearing aids. It’s difficult 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.
You also want to take a close look at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Will 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 purchase your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t call for purchasing hearing aids.