You already know that hearing aids styles vary greatly. In addition to style, there are several other factors that contribute to creating a quality hearing aid. Hearing aids are highly customizable to the user, so each hearing aid is unique. However, there are a few things to look for to determine if a hearing aid is high quality.
Materials of a Quality Hearing Aid
The materials that make up a hearing aid are very important, as quality hearing aids should be made of hardy and long-lasting materials. Many types of hearing aids are made out of acrylic, which create a structurally sound shell for the hearing aid. Acrylic is a hard plastic and is non-allergenic. However, acrylic earmolds are quite rigid, and may lead to “sound leakage” as they are shifted around due to chewing or talking. In order to counter this leakage, it’s possible to add a “soft canal,” a silicone piece at the inside end of the earmold that allows more flexibility.
Speaking of silicone—this is another popular material used in high quality hearing aids. Pure silicone is recommended for users with allergy issues, and it is very flexible in the ear for active hearing aid users. Soft silicone is often regarded as the most comfortable material, for those who have trouble adjusting to wearing hearing aids. Audicus uses soft silicone domes for all of our hearing devices.
For young children, the best material to use is a soft vinyl, which is ideal for hearing aid users who might get hit in the ear while playing sports or doing other activities. The soft vinyl is much less likely to cause injury than a hard mold if the wearer is struck in the ear.
Low Cost Hearing Aids—Are They High Quality?
It is important to note that low cost hearing aids do not equal poor quality! Hearing aids don’t have to break the bank to be functional and long-lasting. Audicus hearing aids are affordable but also have longevity, and are top-quality hearing aids. Audicus devices are made of sturdy materials and are nanocoated, making them water-resistance and therefore helping them last longer. Audicus works with a private manufacturer for top-quality 3D printing that keeps costs low.
Your audiologist should be able to direct you to quality hearing aid manufacturers, but you should also be vigilant as a consumer and do some research on your own. Find out the materials in prospective hearing aids and look at customer reviews. And remember, high quality does not need to mean high price! It is possible to find low cost hearing aids that are also made with top-notch materials and will serve you well for years to come.
By: Elena McPhillips