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

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already know that you need to get hearing aids, so what now? Hearing aids are about to become an essential part of your life, so finding the right kind makes a difference. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can be found only on the internet. If you truly believe that you can buy a quality device for less money from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your decision. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?

Those Cheap Internet Imitations

Hearing assistance devices that are found on the internet are not really going to save you money and their not really hearing aids. They are very poor in quality and don’t work very well. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it ends up costing you a lot.

These cheap devices will amplify sound, which is the basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Modern, quality digital hearing aids integrate various technologies to create a device customized to your needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you decide to buy a cheap online device.

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 end up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when you buy hearing aids. Be sure to get the hearing aids you actually need. Even if you can’t afford them there might be other solutions.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids deliver better quality sound that is more reliable. Analog units are outdated and are not worth even considering.

It’s likely all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. It’s important to know analog devices are out there, though, and to educate yourself about the difference between the two. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Selecting The Perfect Features

There are actually two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life better. A few common features to consider include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

When you get started researching hearing aids, you’ll find out that there are numerous styles on the market. There is undoubtedly a style that will work for you, and that’s the good news. Some of the different styles are:

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

fairly obvious definition of each style is offered by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing that connects it to the BTE.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, 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 means “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal and that means that you don’t see them so much.

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 tend to be less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of 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.

Your task is to go over each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. For instance, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth capabilities. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is a great option and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you will want to go to purchase your hearing aids. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right choice if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.

A quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so make sure you check that out as well. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and how about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. There are several reasons you might detect a change in your hearing and you may not even need 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.


    Hearing Aids By Tricia Leagjeld

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