What You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids
Making the decision to get hearing aids can have a life-changing impact. It will give you the chance to once again listen to loved ones and hear movies and music. You will be able to enjoy the world around you. One thing you might be worried about is how they will look or if they will really help. Having more information can help ease your concerns. Below are the things you should know before buying hearing aids.
Different Styles of Hearing Aids
The advancement in technology has evolved and changed hearing devices. There was a point in time when only one style was available, and it may or may not have worked for your needs. Now, there are several options to consider, and working with a professional, you will be able to find the one that works best for you.
Behind the Ear (BTE)
This device has a component that sits behind your ear, then a tube connects the hearing aid to an earmold that is custom-designed to fit into your ear canal. This device can be used for any level of hearing loss for people of any age. Traditionally, this has been the largest and most visible device, but with advancements in technology, there are mini BTE devices that can be hard to see. It is also capable of better sound amplification.
Receiver in Canal (RIC) or Receiver in the Ear (RITE)
These are similar to the BTE devices, but instead of a tube, they have a wire that connects to the speaker that sits in your ear canal. Some of the benefits of this device is that they have a less visible component that sits behind the ear, but they are susceptible to being clogged by earwax.
Open Fit Hearing Aids
This type of device is another variation of the BTE. It keeps the ear canal open and allows for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally. High-frequency sounds are amplified through the device, making this ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. It is less visible than other devices, but it is small, so it may be difficult to handle.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
A completely-in-the-canal aid, also known as a mini CIC, is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It is the smallest and least visible type of aid available, and it is used to improve mild to moderate hearing loss. Some of the other benefits that come with this type of device include that it is less likely to pick up wind noise.
Some of the downsides you’ll need to think about when considering this type of device is that because they are so small, the batteries are also small, which means they have a shorter life span and may be challenging to change. They also don’t come with extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone. Since they are located inside your ear, it’s also possible that earwax can clog the speaker.
In the Canal
An in-the-canal device, like the CIC, is also molded to fit your ear canal, but it only goes partially inside your ear. It can help with mild to moderate hearing loss, and it is less visible than some other models. It can also be susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker, but it includes features that the CIC doesn’t.
In the Ear
This device comes in two styles: a full shell that takes up your outer ear (the part shaped like a bowl) and a half shell that takes up the lower part of your ear. This device is for people with mild to severe hearing loss. It comes with a variety of features, including volume control, and has a larger battery that lasts longer. Some of the downsides to this device is that it may pick up more wind noise and it is visible to others.
Finding the Right Hearing Aids for Your Needs
Before you buy a hearing device, there are some things you’ll need to do. These will ensure that you are getting the best device to help with your hearing needs. Below are the steps to take when it comes to finding the right hearing aid.
See the Professionals
Before getting hearing devices, you want to make sure that you actually need them. Items such as wax or an ear infection can have an impact on how well you hear, so make an appointment with your physician to rule out these causes. Once that has occurred, you will then need to see an audiologist to test your hearing to see how much hearing loss has occurred.
If you don’t know a good audiologist, then get a referral from your doctor. Once you have an appointment, they will assess your hearing and let you know which device will work best for your needs. This may include getting one or two hearing aids to help with your hearing loss.
Ask if You Can Have a Trial Period
To ensure that the device will work for you, ask if they offer a trial period. You’ll also need to get in writing how much the trial costs and if the payments go toward the final price of the devices. This will give you the chance to get used to and figure out if the devices are what you’re looking for. If not, you may need to try out another type.
Consider Your Future Needs
While the device may work now, you’ll also need to consider if your hearing will change in the future and if the device will change with it. If the possibility exists that your hearing will get worse as you age, you’ll need a device that will also change so you can continue to hear.
See if it Comes with a Warranty
Your hearing aid may include a warranty that covers parts and labor should something break and need to be repaired within a specific time frame. You may also be able to get a warranty that covers office visits or other professional services. Any of these can be cost-effective and beneficial, so find out if the device you want comes with this feature.
Be Ready for the Expense
The price of hearing aids can range from $1,500 up to thousands of dollars. You can also expect to pay copays and other professional fees, in addition to paying for any accessories that go with your device. When it comes to finding the device that is right for you, talk to your audiologist so you know how much you can expect to pay for your hearing devices.
Know the Device’s Limitations
While a hearing device will make it possible for you to have conversations with others and experience sound once again, it will not restore your normal hearing. In addition, they may not be able to eliminate all background noises. Each device has its own set of limitations, and being aware of what these are will aid you in finding the right device for your needs.
Enjoy the World Once Again
Making the decision to get hearing devices can change your life. Finding the right one will depend on your level of hearing loss, your budget, and personal preference. You have many options to choose from, and any one of them can help you enjoy life and your loved ones once again.