A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very rich). Which means you will probably do a ton of research first. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. Google is your best friend right now. 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 make certain your investment is well spent.
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. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that accelerator?
So you need to take a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices so that you can get the most from your purchase. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same mindset. They won’t 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 provides the most for your lifestyle.
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 talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it seems sensible 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?
There might be some people out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most high priced device they can.
And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are costly in the first place:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re paying for is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will undoubtedly last longer than others. But that isn’t always determined by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other purchase, they will require regular care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your specific 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 numerous different types and styles. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing requirements. Here are the choices you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is often shorter. And some of the most modern functions are typically missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech features. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some sophisticated functions, this style will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside 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 inside your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- 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 pieces are connected by a little tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification choices making them quite popular. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the perfect solution.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re wearing the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everyone.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option 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 warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices might 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 find out what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Maintenance and repair
After you choose the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. This is, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
You should also become familiar with your warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some cash! A good 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 request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. It all just depends, and the same is true for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!