If you aren’t very wealthy, a car isn’t really an impulse purchase. So a great deal of research is most likely the first thing you do. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend right now. This level of research makes sense! For most individuals 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 certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of space to carry supplies around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And when you’re selecting 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. Identifying which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
Some people might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re purchasing an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most expensive model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to consider (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to continue working effectively. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will have to be calibrated to your specific requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and types to choose from. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be best for your hearing requirements. Here are the options you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are generally very discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. And some of the most modern functions are typically missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. They will often include more high-tech features being a bit larger than CIC models. These devices are still fairly small and some of the functions can be a bit difficult to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are great for people who need more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits in your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely in your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can contain sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing problems.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two parts is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they offer many amplification choices. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best solution.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this model, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise similar to BTE models. They have the benefit of reducing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good option for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another option to think about. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
The best way to determine what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Maintenance and repair
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. Just like your car needs oil changes now and again.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently 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 a chance to be sure everything’s working properly and as it should!
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 cash! A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There is no single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
The secret is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be the right choice, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!