A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very wealthy). Which means you will probably do a great deal of research first. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend right now. This amount of research is logical! For most people who aren’t rich, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of space to carry things around? How fast do you want your car to be?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to assess your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should take when choosing your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. Identifying which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
In just the same way that you can talk about the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the supermarket.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would presume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply buy the most high priced device possible.
And, to be certain, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really tiny and very advanced. So the package you’re purchasing is very technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most expensive model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are a lot of variables to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will definitely 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 condition, as with any other purchase, they will call for routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your exact needs.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? You’ll be able to choose from several different types and styles. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing goals. Here are the solutions you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. And some of the most state-of-the-art features are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech features. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are great for people who require more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit completely in your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower ear). These hearing aids are more exposed but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them a great choice for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of hearing aid has one part that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a housing that goes behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification solutions. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the perfect option.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It’s not a good choice for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
What 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 consider. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair 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 an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
The best way to determine what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Upkeep and repair
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and again.
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. This gives you an opportunity to be certain everything’s working effectively and as it should!
It’s also a good idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. The same is true with hearing aids, it just depends on your specific situation.
But the more you understand beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing test with us today!