Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already realize that you need to get hearing aids, so now what? Hearing aids will soon become an essential part of your life so purchase wisely. There are different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones that are found only on the Internet. It’s up to you to decide what you expect from the device and how much you can afford to spend. When shopping for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids

Hearing assistance devices which are found on the internet are not really a bargain and their not really hearing aids. They are not very efficient and they don’t function that well. Batteries can get expensive if you need to replace them constantly.

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

You have to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it will make your life very overwhelming and could wind up costing you money, so don’t go cheap with your hearing aids. If you are not able to afford 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

A higher quality, more dependable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent too. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth considering.

If you shop at a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the units will be digital. If you don’t know the difference you might mistake an analog hearing aid for a digital. Analog makes reference to the kind of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality of the sound. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.

Selecting The Perfect Features

When you go looking for hearing aids think about the two elements which are features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to consider include:

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

Consider the Styles

There are a lot of styles available to you, as you will realize when you get started researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost a guarantee. Some of the different styles are:

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

To get a fairly good idea of each style just take a look at their names. BTE hearing aids incorporate a piece that sits behind the ear. It connects to a clear tube and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, in the ear. This device goes at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC means “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’t see them so much.

RIC devices and RIE devices have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a unit behind the ear. These hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit devices, which are a kind of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the feeling of something stuck in their ear.

After taking all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to choose the one that would be best for you. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth functionality. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is effective if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. Truthfully, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the opportunity to wear them for a while helps.

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

Before buying hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, too. Some changes in your hearing don’t call for purchasing hearing aids.

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