Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already realize that you need to get hearing aids, so what now? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision because they will become such a major part of your life. If you find some hearing aids that can only be purchased on the internet, then you can be fairly certain they are probably pretty flimsy. Only you know how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. When you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Those Cheap Internet Imitations

Cheap hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they seem to be. They are very poor in quality and don’t work very well. The money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

These low-quality devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic function of hearing aids but that’s all they do. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the integrated technologies found in a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. You can go cheap and get one online but you will lose out on important features.

You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. Be certain to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there may be other solutions.

Digital Vs. Analog

Digital hearing aids deliver higher quality sound that is more dependable. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

Reputable retailers don’t even have analog devices at this time. You have to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids process. Analog hearing aids have major problems with consistent sound quality.

Choosing The Ideal Features

Features and style are the two aspects when hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life easier. A few common features to consider include:

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

Consider the Styles

There are numerous styles available, as you will find out when you begin researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your situation is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:

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

fairly obvious definition of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, as you may have guessed, in the ear. It’s a single unit that rests in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but 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. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit models, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. If you can’t deal with the feeling of something in your ear, this style is a smart choice for you.

Your task is to go over each of these options and decide which of them is most important to you. For example, Bluetooth is a useful function to have, particularly if you talk on your smartphone or computer a lot. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

A qualified retailer that has a free trial period and that will custom fit the device is the best place to get your new hearing aids. Having a chance to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the right decision.

A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, make sure to look for that. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some will only pay for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?

Make an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Not all changes to your hearing require hearing aids.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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