What to Look For When Selecting Hearing Aids

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve recognized that you need to invest in hearing aids, what will you do next? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision because they will become such a major part of your life. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, while the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found on the internet. If you truly think that you can get a quality device for less money from the internet, then the sacrifice will be how well you hear, and that’s your decision. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?

Those Internet Imitations

While they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They don’t function very well or very efficiently. What you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

Amplifying sound is all these poor-quality devices can do. You get a number of different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be completely customized to your specific needs. Several important features will be sacrificed if you decide to buy a cheap online device.

You have to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to stretch your budget, but it’s not a good idea when it concerns something that affects every part of your life like your hearing. If you can’t afford good quality hearing aids, there might be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

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

Reputable sellers don’t even have analog hearing aids anymore. If you’re not aware of the difference you might mistake an analog hearing aid for a digital. Analog means the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. Analog hearing aids have major problems with consistent sound quality.

Selecting The Very Best Features

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

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

Consider the Styles

There are lots of styles available, as you will realize when you start researching hearing aids. That’s good news because it means there is undoubtedly a style that will be ideal for you. Some of the different styles are:

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

The names provide a pretty good definition of each style. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold which sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE pieces sit, as you may have guessed, inside of 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 devices are very similar but go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.

RIC devices and RIE devices 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. Having something inside the ear is awkward for some people. When 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 task is to go over each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth functionality. You can save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is ideal for listening to lectures or seminars.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered

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. Having the opportunity to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the correct choice.

You should also look closely at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?

Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t 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.