Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already know that you need hearing aids, so now what? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. If you truly think 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. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs

Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They don’t get the job done very well or very effectively. Batteries can get expensive when you need to replace them all the time.

The only function that these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. Modern, top quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to create a device which can be customized to your exact needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you choose to purchase a cheap online device.

You have to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but it’s not a good idea when it comes to something that impacts every aspect of your life like your hearing. There may be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get the ones you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

A higher quality, more dependable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent also. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.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. It’s important to know analog devices are still out there, though, and to educate yourself about the difference between the two. Analog means the kind of audio signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Selecting The Very Best Features

Features and style are the two elements when hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some standard features to consider include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

There are lots of styles available to you, as you will see when you start researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

A pretty good description of each style is given by the names. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. It attaches to a clear tube and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.

As is obvious by the name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you won’t see them so much.

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. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

Rather than having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This format is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of something inside their ear.

After going over all of these options, it’s time to decide which style and options will best fit your needs. For instance, Bluetooth is a useful function to have, particularly if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. The truth is, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the opportunity to wear them for a while helps.

A good quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What’s covered? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and how about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?

Before buying hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, also. There could be many reasons you might observe a change in your hearing and they don’t all 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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC