If you need to get a hearing aid, there are lots of things that you will need to think about when it comes to choosing the right one for you. There are lots of different types of hearing aids to choose from, and they all come at different costs and do different things.
You might be left wondering which hearing aid is the best for your current situation, or how much it will cost. You should also consider if it will last over time and whether it is covered under warranty. These are just some of the many things that you will need to think about.
If you haven’t got the faintest idea where to start, don’t worry. We are going to tell you everything that you need to know about buying a hearing aid in this article, so you can be sure that you are choosing the right one.
Different Types of Hearing Aid
There are quite a few different types of hearing aids to choose from, and they vary in size, price, features, and the way in which they are placed into your ear.
We are going to talk about some of the most common styles of hearing aid below, so you can find out more about them.
Completely in the canal (CIC) or Mini CIC
This type of hearing aid is molded specifically to fit inside of your ear canal, and it improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. It is the smallest and least visible type, and it is less likely to pick up wind noise.
However, it also uses small batteries that have a shorter life and can be difficult to handle. These hearing aids often don’t include any additional features, like volume control or directional microphones, and they are susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
In the Canal
An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is also custom molded, and it will fit partly into the ear canal. This type of hearing aid can help to improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
It is less visible in the ear than larger styles. Although, it is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker. Due to the smaller size, it may be difficult to adjust.
In the Ear
This type of hearing aid is custom made in two different styles. The first one is called full shell, which will fill most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. The second type is called half shell, which will only fill the lower part of the outer ear.
Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss, and they come with directional microphones. They include various features that don’t fit onto smaller styles of hearing aids, like volume control, and they can be easier to handle. As well as this, they use a larger battery for a longer battery life. Although, they may pick up more wind and be more visible than smaller devices. They can also be susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
Behind the Ear
A behind-the-ear hearing aid will hook onto the top of your ear and rest behind the ear. A tube will connect the hearing aid to a custom earpiece that is called an ear mold, which fits into the ear canal. They are suited for people of all ages with almost any type of hearing loss.
They are one of the largest types of hearing aid, but there are some more streamlined versions available. They feature directional microphones, and are capable of more amplification than other styles. Although they may pick up more wind noise than do other styles.
Receiver in Canal or Receiver in the Ear
This type of hearing aid is similar to a behind the ear hearing aid as the speaker or receiver will sit in the ear canal. A tiny wire connects the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.
They are usually not very visible, and they feature directional microphones. They also include manual control options, and may come with a chargeable battery. However, they are susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
This is a variation of the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube or the receiver-in-the-canal or receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid with an open dome in the ear. This type of hearing aid will keep the ear canal open, allowing for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally. High frequency sounds can be amplified through the hearing aid.
This is great for people with better low-frequency hearing and mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. They are often visible, but they don’t plug in like other types of hearing aids, so they often make your own voice sound better to you. Although, you may find it more difficult to insert it into the ear.
How To Buy a Hearing Aid
When you are looking at buying a hearing aid, there are some things that you should think about, which we will mention below.
Get a Checkup
The first thing that you should do before you go ahead and purchase a hearing aid is to go for a checkup with your doctor. They will be able to rule out correctable causes of hearing loss, and they can test your hearing by referring you to a specialist.
You can also get a referral to an audiologist, who will be able to assess your hearing and help you to choose an appropriate hearing aid that will meet your needs.
Think About the Future
You should also think about whether or not the hearing aid that you choose will be able to withstand the test of time. It can be helpful to choose one that is capable of increased power, and it will still be useful to you if your hearing gets worse.
However, know that hearing aids will not work forever, but they should last for around 5 years.
Check For Warranty
You should also make sure that the hearing aid includes a warranty that covers it for parts and labor for a certain period of time. Some dispensers will even include things like professional services in the warranty.
Consider the Cost
The cost of a hearing aid can vary widely from anywhere between $1500 and a few thousand dollars. You may also encounter additional costs like professional fees, or spend more on things like remote controls, hearing aid accessories, and other options.
Know that some private insurance policies will cover part or all of the cost of hearing aids for adults.