A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a great deal of research is most likely the first step you take. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this amount of research. For most people who aren’t rich, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What style of vehicle do you want? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much pep do you want to feel when you press down that accelerator?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same mindset you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost much less than a new car. Determining 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 very general terms, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than just helping you hear. With a set 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 over dinner with your grandkids, 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 don’t want those benefits to stop.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
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 just purchase the most high priced device possible.
And, to be sure, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re getting a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. Especially if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the variables to consider. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good 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 adjusted for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and types to select from. You can work with us to determine which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing needs. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity tends to be shorter. And some of the most state-of-the-art functions are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly discrete. They will typically contain more high-tech functions being slightly 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 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 inside your ear canal, it all sits 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 a great option.
- 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 sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The two parts are connected by a small tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification solutions. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the perfect option.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. 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 allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them a good fit for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work okay 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 may fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a smart plan to speak with us about what might work best for your particular needs.
Upkeep and repair
After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is crucial. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, 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 certain that everything is working properly and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good maintenance and a strong warranty.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. The same is true with hearing aids, it just depends on your situation.
But the more you know beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!