Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need hearing aids? Hearing aids are going to become an important part of your life, so choosing the right type matters. 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 are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to buy. 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

Hearing assistance devices which are found on the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t perform very well or very effectively. Batteries can get expensive if you need to replace them all the time.

These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be completely customized to your exact needs. You will lose out on quite a few important features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet device.

You need to recognize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it can make your life very overwhelming and may wind up costing you money, so don’t go cheap with your hearing aids. There might be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get what you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

A higher quality, more dependable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent also. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.

It’s likely all of the hearing aids you find at a quality retailer will be digital. You need 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 process. The sound quality is very inconsistent with old analog devices.

Finding The Perfect Features

When you go looking for hearing aids think about the two aspects which are features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. A few common features to think about include:

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

Consider the Styles

When you start researching hearing aids, you’ll find out that there are a lot of styles on the market. That’s good news since it means that there is definitely a style that will be ideal for your needs. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at the names. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, in the ear. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper inside the ear, making them harder to see.

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 piece behind the ear. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

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 feel of something inside their ear.

Your task is to assess each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a feature you would want if you use your phone or a computer frequently. You can 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.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration

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 difficult to be confident that you are making the right choice if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you buy them.

A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to check that out as well. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some will only pay for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and how about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?

Before purchasing hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, too. There could be many reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and you may not even need hearing aids.

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