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3 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be one of the most valuable and rewarding purchases you ever make. The improvement in quality of life that many people report after beginning to wear a hearing aid is remarkable--favorite songs, the voices of loved ones, and everyday conversations all come alive again. But before you make a purchase, you'll want to carefully compare the different types of hearing aids available on the market. Below are three questions you should ask before coming to a final decision.

In the ear, or behind?

One of the biggest differences in hearing aid styles that you'll notice when first shopping around is the placement of the actual hearing aid. Some devices are placed directly in the ear canal, while others rest behind the ear. In-ear hearing aids are generally larger than ones placed behind the ear, so while they're definitely more noticeable, they're also easier to handle and insert. Aids placed behind the ear can amplify noises more easily and aren't susceptible to problems caused by earwax, but can pick up more wind noise than their in-ear counterparts.

Completely or partially in the canal?

If you choose to narrow your search to hearing aids that fit in the ear, you'll have to face another decision between ones that fit completely in the ear canal, and those that are inserted only partially. While the former are practically invisible, they often lack features such as volume control and a specialized microphone. The latter often includes these features at the cost of an increase in size. Both types are designed to help children and adults who suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss.  

What about open fit alternatives?

Some people find that both in-ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids are uncomfortable, so they seek out viable alternatives. Others may find that their hearing loss is so severe that it cannot be addressed by traditional hearing aids. Luckily, a variety of solutions are available to consumers, one of the most popular being the open fit hearing aid. At first glance, open fit aids seem similar to their behind-the-ear cousins, but upon closer inspection they offer several additional advantages: they're less visible, less obtrusive, and don't need to be manually adjusted. Because the ear canal is kept open with this style of hearing aid, a much wider range of frequencies are allowed to reach the ear naturally, making it the perfect fit for many people.