A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a lot of research ahead of time. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research makes sense! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you require for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you need to have a close look at all of your options and make some informed decisions so that you can get the most from your investment. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means figuring out which devices work best, overall, as well as what provides 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 a very general way, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. Staying involved with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the supermarket.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
Some individuals may assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
And, to be certain, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be expensive:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they need 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 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 severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the factors to consider. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will have to be calibrated to your specific requirements.
Make certain you get the best hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to pick from. You can work with us to figure out which ones are the right choice 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 are generally very discrete (great for people who want to hide their hearing aids). The only difficulty 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 discrete because they are molded to fit your ear canal. They will often include more high-tech features being slightly larger than CIC models. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are great for individuals who require more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely inside your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower 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): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The two parts are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions 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 much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of reducing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. This makes them suitable for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general way. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a smart idea to speak with us about what might work best for your particular needs.
Repair and upkeep
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a routine maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you a chance to make sure that everything is working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some cash! So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a great warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But the more you know ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!