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Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need to buy hearing aids? Hearing aids are going to become an essential part of your life, so finding the right type makes a difference. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, while the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found 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?

Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Hearing assistance devices which are purchased from the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t work very well or very effectively. You have to buy new batteries so often that it winds up costing a lot.

These low-quality devices will amplify sound, which is one basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids integrate various technologies to deliver a device customized to your needs. You will lose out on some 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. It’s great to try to save some money, but it’s not a good idea when it concerns something that impacts every part of your life like your hearing. If you can’t afford good quality hearing aids, there may be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is much more dependable. Analog units are outdated and are not worth even considering.

If you consult with a reputable hearing aid seller, all of the units will be digital. You should be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog makes reference to the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog units.

Choosing The Perfect Features

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

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

Think about the Styles

You will notice, when you begin researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to choose from. Luckily, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style that works for your situation is almost a guarantee. Some of the different styles are:

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

A pretty good description of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold which rests in the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE pieces sit, you guessed it, inside of the ear. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.

RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece behind it. Both styles are generally less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.

Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is unpleasant for some people. When this is the situation, an open fit device, which has a thin tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the best choice.

Your task is to look at each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. For instance, Bluetooth is a useful feature to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or computer a lot. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an excellent way to go and rechargeable batteries will save you money on replacement batteries.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you will want to go to buy your hearing aids. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the correct choice.

A quality hearing aid has a good warranty so be sure to look into that as well. What’s covered? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what 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 purchase your hearing aids. Your hearing trouble might not even require hearing aids.