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Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve determined that you need to get hearing aids, what’s your next move? Hearing aids are going to become an essential part of your life, so choosing the right type matters. If you find some hearing aids that are only available from the internet, then you can be sure they are probably pretty flimsy. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to pay. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?

Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs

Cheap hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they seem to be. They are very low-quality and don’t work very well. Batteries will be expensive if you need to replace them all the time.

These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is the basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids incorporate various technologies to deliver a device which can be customized to your needs. You will miss out on quite a few important features if you choose to purchase a cheap internet device.

You need to recognize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but it’s not a good idea when it concerns something that affects every facet of your life like your hearing. There might be other ways that you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get the ones you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids deliver better quality sound that is much more dependable. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.

It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. 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 out-dated hearing aids work with. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Choosing The Ideal Features

There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few common features to think about include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

When you begin researching hearing aids, you’ll find out that there are many styles available to you. Thankfully, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost a guarantee. The various styles of hearing aids include:

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

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE devices go “in the ear”? It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches 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 and that means that you can’t see them so much.

RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These types of hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.

Instead of having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a kind of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feeling of something inside their ear.

Thinking about all of these options, you need to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. As an example, if you use your phone or a computer a lot, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth functionality. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an ideal way to go and you won’t have to keep shelling out money for new batteries if you get a hearing aid with a rechargeable one.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You want to purchase your hearing aids from a qualified retailer, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. Having the opportunity to try your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the right decision.

You also want to look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. 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 can’t be fixed?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. There could be many reasons you might detect a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.