A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will probably do a ton of research first. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you consider gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It is sensible to do this amount of research. For most individuals who aren’t wealthy, 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 fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of space to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you should take a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed choices so that you can get the most from your purchase. And that’s the same attitude you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. Figuring out which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
Hearing aid advantages
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a great 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 remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs at the dinner table 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 possible given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some individuals out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most expensive device possible.
And, to be certain, hearing aids are an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are costly in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very sophisticated. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. Particularly if you take care of them.
But the most expensive model won’t automatically 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!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your right requirements.
Make certain you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to pick from several different styles and types. You can work with us to determine which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. But in general, 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 provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most sophisticated functions.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a little larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech functions. These devices are still rather small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who need 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 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 the perfect choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of hearing aid has one bit that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a little tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions making them quite popular. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the perfect choice.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part sits 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 allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
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 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 specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to invest in, it’s always a good idea to consult us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Maintenance and repair
Obviously, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also needs maintenance.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be checked? 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.
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! 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.
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 feel is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go with a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
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 ideal for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!