What to Consider when Choosing a Hearing Aid?
If you or someone you know suffers from a hearing impairment, life can never be normal for them. However, the advancements in hearing aid technology have given a new lease of life to these people. While there are many options available in the market for hearing aids, making the right choice is crucial.
There are numerous factors that have to be considered before making the buying decision for the hearing aids. Some of these factors include- type of hearing aid, its features, quality, hearing aid prices and warranty.
Type of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are sound-amplifying devices designed to help people with hearing disorders. A basic hearing aid comprises of a microphone, amplifier circuitry, a receiver and batteries that power the electronic parts. But there are many types of hearing aids that one can choose from depending on their requirements:
Body-worn aids: This was the first type of hearing aid introduced to the world, and comprises of a case consisting of electronic amplifier components, controls and battery, and an earmold that comprises of a miniature microphone. While its size is bigger than the modern aids, large amplification, longer battery life and low costs, makes it a desirable choice in emerging countries.
Behind-the-ear aids (BTE): As the name suggests, BTE aids are placed behind the pinna, and are mostly used by children for being durable. They generally comprise of a case, an earmold and a connection between them. The sound can be received electrically or acoustically by the ear through the BTE aid. People with mild to high hearing disability can use BTEs. This aid can also be classified as Receiver in the Canal/Ear and Earmolds.
In–the-ear aids (ITE): These hearing aids are fitted in the outer ear bowl and are customised to fit each individual’s ear. They are mostly used in cases of mild to severe hearing loss, and are smaller in size. ITE are comparatively more expensive than the BTE aids because they are made to order.
Completely-in-the-canal aids (CIC): These hearing aids are inserted in the ear and are completely invisible when worn. CIC ensure comfortable fit because its shell is made-to-order to fit individual ear canal. This type is mostly suitable for children and middle-aged people.
T-coils (Telephone Coils) - Also known as telecoils, they allow users filter out background noise, by allowing audio sources to be directly connected to a hearing aid. It consists of a metal core around which ultra-fine wire is coiled.
Direct audio input- A hearing aid that has this feature enables you to plug in a remote microphone connect directly to a TV or other devices such as your PC.
Directional microphone- The directional microphone amplifies sounds from in front more than sounds from other directions. This feature enables the user to distinguish between the sounds originating from the direction he/she is facing and the sounds coming from behind or other directions.
Feedback suppression- This helps in repressing the squeals when your aid gets too close to the phone or has a loosely fit earmold.
Last but not the least, a market research of the hearing aid prices also has to be conducted to ensure that you get the best price for the product selected by you. There are many types of models available in the market that ensure the hearing aid prices are worth it.
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