Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve decided that you need to invest in hearing aids, what will you do next? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision because they will play a major part in your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to spend. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?

Those Internet Knockoffs

Although they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will end up costing you more. They don’t work very well or very effectively. The money you save when you buy the device itself, you end up losing because you have to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices do. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to deliver a device customized to your needs. You can decide to go cheap and purchase one online but you will lose out on important features.

You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it can make your life very hard and might end up costing you money, so don’t go cheap with your hearing aids. If you are unable to afford good quality hearing aids, there might be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids offer better quality sound that is more reliable. If you run across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.

Reputable sellers don’t even carry analog hearing aids anymore. You need to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.

Selecting The Perfect Features

Features and style are the two factors when hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to consider include:

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

Think about the Styles

You will see, when you get started researching hearing aids, that there are numerous styles to pick from. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold which sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE units go “in the ear”? It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very similar to ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’t see them so much.

RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece behind it. Both styles tend to be less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

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

Thinking about all of these options, it’s time to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. For instance, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will 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.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to purchase your hearing aids. Truthfully, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the chance to wear them for a while is helpful.

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

Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. There are several reasons you might observe a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.

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