If you aren’t very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. Which means you will most likely do a lot of research ahead of time. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) This amount of research is logical! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to be certain 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. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly supplies? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that accelerator?
So you need to have a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices in order to get the most out of your investment. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same mindset. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most from your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid benefits
In just the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are pretty great!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. Staying connected with your friends and family will be a lot easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandchildren, and engaging in conversations with friends.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
Some individuals might assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
And, to be certain, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very state-of-the-art technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will automatically work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, your budget are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other purchase, they will require routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from several different styles and types. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and tend to be quite discrete (great for people who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is often shorter. And some of the most modern features are usually missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech features. Some of these functions can be a little tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also contain some advanced functions, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit completely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely inside your ear. If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids the perfect choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. 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 visibility and power.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the added advantage of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). It’s not a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general sense. But if your hearing loss calls for a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall a bit short. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically tuned to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to determine what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Repair and upkeep
Obviously, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? In general, you should schedule a routine upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working order.
It’s also a good idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
But the more you know ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Call us to schedule a consultation today!