A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research first. You take a good look at things like 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 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 look at the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What type of vehicle do you like? How much room do you need for weekly supplies? How much power do you want 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 decisions in order to get the most from your purchase. And when you’re picking out 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 out of your investment means determining which devices work best, overall, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The advantages of hearing aids
In exactly the same way that you can talk about the benefits of a car in very general terms, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are pretty great!
The advantages 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 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 enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits coming!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
There might be some people out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most high priced device possible.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are costly in the first place:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re getting an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for a long time. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most costly model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to consider. Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how costly the device was in the first place.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to pick from several different styles and types. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing goals. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and tend to be quite discrete (perfect for people 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 features tend to be 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 functions being a bit bigger than CIC models. Some of these functions can be somewhat tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still quite small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also contain some sophisticated features, this style will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely inside your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). These devices are more exposed but can contain sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option 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 type of hearing aid has one part that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two parts is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. These types are a good 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 part fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of reducing wind noise and are usually 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 trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. It isn’t a good choice for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss calls for a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices might fall a bit short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
No matter what kind of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a good idea to talk to us about what will work best for your particular 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. This is, again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a regular upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! A strong warranty and regular upkeep 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 might have a different model that they feel is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!