Do you need a hearing aid but don’t know where to start? With so many features, styles, brands and prices to choose from, it’s no wonder why shopping for a hearing aid can be a daunting task for a new user.
Here are 7 tips to guide you on buying a hearing aid.
1. Hearing Test
The first step is to get tested by a hearing professional or audiologist. The type of hearing aid that is best suited for you will be determined in part by the type and level of hearing loss you have. The professional will be able to assess your hearing needs so you can choose the correct hearing aid.
2. Analog vs. Digital Hearing Aids
Years ago hearing aids were all analog. Today, most hearing aids are digital. Digital hearing aids provide high quality sound amplification, advanced features and fine-tuning that was not possible with analog aids. Some companies still make analog hearing aids, however, be sure to compare these with the digital ones before making your final decision.
3. Styles Of Hearing Aids
There are 4 main styles of hearing aids available. The style you are best suited for depends on the type of hearing loss you have as well as your comfort.
– Behind The Ear (BTE): Fits over the ear and rests behind it. Typically the least expensive style.
– In The Ear (ITE): The most common type, this sits in the ear
– In The Ear Canal (ITC): This type fits slightly lower into the ear and is not very noticeable.
– Completely In The Ear Canal (CIC): Fits down into the ear canal. This style requires the most fitting and is the least visible to others.
Hearing aids today come with a myriad of features. These range from the necessary, such as noise canceling, to the more luxurious, such as remote control. Digital hearing aids offer state-of-the-art technology that helps to reduce feedback and allows for clearer hearing even in situations where there is background noise. Digital hearing aids offer more options for adjustments than analog hearing aids, making it easier to adapt to a new hearing aid.
Once you know the style of hearing aid that suits you best, compare prices across various brands as they vary greatly. The prices are most expensive for hearing aids with latest technology and advanced features. Even if you don’t have a lot to spend you will still be able to find a quality hearing aid with enough features to fulfill your needs.
When choosing a hearing aid it is important to ask about the warranty. Find out the warranty period and what is covered. Ask if any fitting problems are covered because this could get expensive if multiple trips are needed.
7. Choose One Or Two Hearing Aids
If you have hearing loss in only one ear, you will do well with only one hearing aid. However, as both ears tend to be affected by age and noise related hearing loss, wearing two hearing aids will actually help you to differentiate and determine where sounds are coming from. Most digital hearing aids require two to be worn to achieve maximum benefits.