A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really rich). Which means you will probably do a ton of research ahead of time. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend right now. This level of research makes sense! You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying it off (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? 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 should have a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices in order to get the most out of your purchase. And that’s the same attitude you should take when choosing 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, overall, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can stay involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
Some people might assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
And, to be certain, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very advanced 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 quite a while. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will automatically work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to continue working effectively. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your specific requirements.
Be sure you get the right hearing aids for you
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to select from. You can work with us to figure out which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing goals. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most sophisticated features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. Some of these functions can be a bit tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). Even still, ITC models are ideal for people who need more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit completely inside your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of device has one bit that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. These kinds are a good compromise between power and visibility.
- 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 benefit of cutting down on 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 people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everyone.
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 fine in general, much like OTC medications. 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 a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
The best way to determine what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Upkeep and repair
Obviously, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? In general, you should schedule a routine maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working condition.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular maintenance 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 may have a different model that they think is the best.
The key is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be the right choice, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same is true for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!