A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). So a great deal of research is probably the first thing you do. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this amount of research. For most individuals who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What type of vehicle do you like? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that accelerator?
So you should take a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices so that you can get the most out of your purchase. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. Figuring out which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The benefits of hearing aids
In exactly the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the supermarket.
It’s only logical that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
Some people may assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are costly in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very sophisticated. That means you’re paying for an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But the most costly model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are a lot of variables to consider (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will undoubtedly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other investment, they will require regular care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have several different styles and kinds to select from. You can work with us to determine which ones are ideal for you and your hearing goals. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. And some of the most modern features are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. They will often include more high-tech features being a little bigger than CIC models. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still quite small). Still, ITC models are ideal for people who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit completely inside your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids the perfect option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of device has one part that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two elements is still rather discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification options making them quite popular. These types are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of decreasing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. If you have problems hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It isn’t a good option for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to think about. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to buy, it’s always a good idea to consult us about what might work best for your specific requirements.
Upkeep and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a regular maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working condition.
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good upkeep and a strong warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There is no single best all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some families will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes for hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Schedule a hearing test with us today!