Your hearing is important. If you're considering purchasing hearing aids, it's important to be informed before you make a decision. There are a few key factors that should be considered to select the best hearing aid for your needs. Here are four things you need to know before you buy hearing aids.
1. Different Fits
The first thing you need to consider before you buy a hearing aid is the fit. There are three ways you can wear a hearing aid: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and completely-in-canal (CIC).
BTE devices sit behind your ear and are what most people picture when they think of a hearing aid. BTE hearing aids are often the less expensive option and are available in many skin tones.
ITE and CIC devices, on the other hand, fit inside your ear canal. ITE hearing aids, sometimes called a half-shell, sit level with the outside of your ear, while CIC hearing aids sit much further in your ear canal, becoming virtually undetectable. Each fit has benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to speak with a professional audiologist who can help you decide which option is right for you.
2. Digital vs. Analog Devices
Another factor to consider when purchasing a hearing aid is whether or not it should be digital or analog. Digital devices offer more sophisticated sound processing capabilities than analog. As a result, they provide clearer audio quality with less background noise interference, meaning that conversations will sound more natural and easier to understand. However, analog devices are typically more affordable than digital options, making them an attractive choice for customers on a budget.
3. Features & Accessories
Finally, it's important to take into account any features or accessories you may require from your hearing aid for it to function properly for your lifestyle and needs. Features like directional microphones help reduce background noise by focusing on what is in front of the user rather than what is all around them, which can be helpful in noisy environments like restaurants or crowded public spaces. If you have a smartphone, you may want to consider hearing aids that are compatible with your phone. You can discretely raise or lower your volume through your phone without drawing any attention to your ear, giving you greater control over the listening experience.
4. Insurance Coverage
Knowing how much of the cost of your new hearing aids will be picked up by your insurance company is important to your bottom line. Some health insurance policies will cover hearing aids at 100 percent, while others will not offer any assistance. To check on your policy's coverage, look under the section marked "Durable Medical Goods," which is where information on hearing aids is typically located.
Picking out the right hearing aids can seem overwhelming at first, but by familiarizing yourself with the types of devices available and understanding what features and accessories may work best for your lifestyle needs, you can make an informed decision about which model will work best for you. With some research and guidance from an audiologist, you will find that needing to buy hearing aids doesn't have to be daunting.