Shopping for Hearing aids doesn’t need to be difficult
Before purchasing any hearing aid, ask whether it has a warranty that will allow you to try it out in the real world. Many retail hearing aid establishments will provide “demo” of hearing aids in their office. It will consist of a basic programming of the aids, and then a set of parlor tricks meant to WOW you into believing how great their hearing aids are. Then they expect you to be able to make a purchase decision. Needless to say, an in-office demonstration hardly gives you the necessary experience and information to make an educated decision on hearing aids that are meant to serve you for the next 5-7 years.
Accurate Hearing Center’s Assurance Guarantee allows for 90-day evaluation of your new hearing aids
During this period you can evaluate the hearing aid in the situations and listening environments important to you in your life. Additionally, you may evaluate different styles, brands, and models to find which works best for you. Your hearing care professional with help you decide which is the best instruments to begin with. Then as you wear them in the real world / real life experiences and provide us feedback, we may make programming adjustments, fit adjustments, change styles, brands, or models for even better results. Its not uncommon for first-time user to evaluate more than one set of hearing aids
Before you buy a hearing aid, ask:
- Can my hearing loss be treated by medically treated?
- What does your follow-up and on-going service consist of?
- If I return the hearing aids during the trial period, how much will I be charged?
- How long is the repair warranty? Can it be extended?
- How long is the Loss & Damage Insurance good for?
- Can the you adjust my hearing aids and make minor repairs in the future?
- What kinds of instruction and training will the hearing care professional give me?
- What accessories are available with the hearing aids?
Below is an outline of there are several types of hearing aids your hearing care provider my use to address your hearing loss. Each hearing aid type offers distinct advantages – depending on its design, levels of amplification, available accessories and size.
In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids
These fit completely in the outer ear. They can help with mild to severe hearing loss. A hard plastic case holds the basic electronics, and extras can be added. One of these extras is a small magnetic coil called a telecoil. This device improves hearing during telephone calls. Drawbacks to ITE aids are that earwax or ear fluids can damage them. Their small size can make them hard to adjust, and feedback can be an issue. These devices are not usually used by children as their hard plastic case needs to be replaced to fit growing ears.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids
These fit behind the ear and connect to a plastic ear mold fit to the inside of the outer ear. The case behind the ear holds the electronic components. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss. They usually cause feedback only when they fit poorly or when there is a buildup of earwax or fluid. RIC is a variant of BTE where the receiver (speaker) actually sets inside the canal of the ear. This style is generally well accepted due to its small size and flexible fitting ability.
These are customized and molded devices that fit into the ear canal. There are two types: In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aids fit the size and shape of the ear canal and are used for mild or moderately severe hearing loss. Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are mostly hidden in the ear canal and also work for mild to moderately severe hearing loss. Because of their small size, canal aids may be difficult for the user to adjust and remove, and may not be able to hold additional devices, such as a telecoil. Canal aids can also be damaged by earwax and ear drainage. Usually they are not used for children.
These devices are for people with profound hearing loss. The aid is attached to a belt or a pocket and connected to the ear by a wire. It is large enough to hold lots of optional electronic add-ons, but most people with less severe hearing loss prefer smaller hearing aids.
The electronic insides of hearing aids vastly differ even among the same types of devices.
There are three basic types of circuitry:
Your hearing care provider finds the right specifications for your hearing aids, and then a laboratory custom builds a device. There is built-in room for your audiologist to fine-tune these settings. This usually is the least expensive type of hearing aid.
Using a computer, your hearing care provider programs your hearing aid. The circuitry of these hearing aids will accommodate more than one program or setting. The wearer can use a remote control device to switch to the best program for a given listening environment.
Like the analog/programmable hearing aids, your hearing care provider uses a computer to program these devices. They then can be further adjusted to improve and individualize sound quality. Digital hearing aids contain a microphone, receiver, battery, and computer chip. Digital circuitry provides the most flexibility for the audiologist to make adjustments for the hearing aid. It is also the most expensive type of hearing aid.