Audio Life Hearing Center- Knoxville, TN

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve recognized that you need to buy hearing aids? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice because they will become such a major part of your life. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty cheap ones available only on the Internet. Only you can decide how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?

Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs

While they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They are very low-quality and don’t perform very well. You have to replace dead batteries so often that it ends up costing you a lot.

The only function that these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be customized to your precise needs. Several essential features will be sacrificed if you choose to get a cheap online device.

You need to understand that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. It’s great to try to stretch your budget, but not when it concerns something that affects every facet of your life like your hearing. Be certain to get the hearing aids you actually need. Even if you can’t afford them there could be other solutions.

Analog Vs. Digital

A better quality, more dependable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent too. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

Reputable retailers don’t even have analog units at this time. It’s important to know analog devices are still out there, though, and to educate yourself about the difference between the two. Analog means the type of audio signal the hearing aid receives and the quality. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Finding The Ideal Features

Features and style are the two elements when hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that provides features that make your life easier. Some common features to consider include:

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

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

When you begin researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are numerous styles on the market. There is certainly a style that will work for you, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:

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

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 a clear tube that connects it to the BTE.

On the other hand, ITE pieces sit, you guessed it, inside of the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is only one unit. 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 don’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 piece behind the ear. Both styles are generally less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.

Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. If you can’t deal with the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this style is a smart choice for you.

Your job is to assess each of these options and figure out which of them matter the most to you. For instance, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth capabilities. You will 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

A competent retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to purchase your new hearing aids. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.

You should also look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What does it cover? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Your hearing trouble may not require hearing aids.

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