A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really rich). Which means you will most likely do a ton of research ahead of time. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. This amount of research is logical! 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 think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really like? Do you require a lot of room to carry supplies around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most from your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The benefits of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. Staying involved with your family and friends will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs over dinner 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 you can given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
There may be some people out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply purchase the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be costly:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re purchasing is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. How profound your hearing loss is and, obviously, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to think about. Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other investment, they will need regular care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Make certain you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to select from. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing needs. 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 hidden and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is usually shorter. And some of the most modern features tend to be missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech functions. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still rather small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also contain some sophisticated features, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit completely in your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). These devices are more exposed but can include sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them an excellent choice 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 pieces are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids are popular because they offer many amplification choices. These kinds are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- 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 additional advantage of decreasing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a basic sense. 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. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically tuned to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart plan to consult us about what will work best for your particular requirements.
Repair and maintenance
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be checked? In general, you should schedule a regular maintenance 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.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat 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 usually simple: good upkeep and a great warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will go with a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. It all just depends, and the same is true for hearing aids.
But the more you understand ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!