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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 will soon become an essential part of your life so purchase wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids out there including some pretty cheap ones available only on the Internet. Only you know how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to invest in. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids

Internet hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they would appear to be. They are very low-quality and don’t perform very well. What money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to constantly replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

The only feature that these cheaper devices perform is sound amplification. Modern, top quality digital hearing aids integrate various technologies to create a device customized to your needs. Several significant features will be sacrificed if you choose to get a cheap online device.

You have to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear very well it will make your life very difficult and may wind up costing you money, so don’t go cheap when purchasing hearing aids. Be certain to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there could be other solutions.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is much more dependable. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.

Reputable retailers don’t even carry analog hearing aids anymore. 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 type of audio signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. Analog hearing aids have some major problems with consistent sound quality.

Choosing The Ideal Features

Features and style are the two aspects when hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some standard features to think about include:

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

Think about the Styles

There are a lot of styles available, as you will find out when you begin researching hearing aids. Thankfully, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which 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)
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Open Fit

The names provide a pretty good definition of each. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold rests at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which connects it to the BTE.

As is obvious by the name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing goes 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 so you won’t see them so much.

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 unit behind the ear. Both styles are generally less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.

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.

After taking all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to choose the one that would best fit your needs. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a feature you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer regularly. 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

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the best decision.

A good quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?

Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Your hearing issue may not require hearing aids.