What to Look For When Choosing Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the next move when you’ve realized that you need hearing aids? Finding the right hearing aids is an important choice because they will become such a major part of your life. If you find some hearing aids that can only be purchased from the internet, then you can be fairly certain they are likely to be pretty flimsy. Only you know how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to buy. When shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Knockoffs 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. They are not very efficient and they don’t work that well. Batteries will be expensive if you need to replace them all the time.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your exact needs. You will miss out on quite a few essential features if you choose to purchase a cheap internet device.

You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. There might be other ways that you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get what you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is much more reliable. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

It’s likely all of the hearing aids you find at quality retailers will be digital. You should 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 hearing aids work with. Analog hearing aids have some major issues with consistent sound quality.

Choosing The Very Best 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:

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

Consider the Styles

When you begin researching hearing aids, you’ll find out that there are many styles available to you. There is certainly a style that will be right for you, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:

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

To get a pretty good idea of each style just take a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which attaches it to the BTE.

On the other hand, ITE pieces sit, as you may have guessed, inside of the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but 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 connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit devices, which are a kind of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is uncomfortable for some people. If this is the situation, an open fit device, which has a little tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.

Your job is to assess each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. For instance, if you use your phone or a computer a lot, 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 will want to go to purchase your hearing aids. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you buy them.

A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so make sure you check that out as well. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?

Before purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Not all changes to your hearing 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.