If you aren’t really rich, a car really isn’t an impulse buy. So a lot of research is probably the first thing you do. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this amount of research. 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 sure your investment is well spent.
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much pep do you want to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some choices. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same attitude. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still 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.
Hearing aid advantages
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
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 connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandkids, and enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only logical that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
There might be some individuals out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very advanced. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. Especially 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 think about. Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working condition, as with any other purchase, they will require routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your unique level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the right hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? You’ll be able to pick from numerous different types and styles. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be best for your hearing requirements. Here are the solutions you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are generally quite discrete (perfect for people who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is usually shorter. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most modern functions.
- 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 contain more high-tech features. Some of these features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still quite small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some sophisticated features, this style will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit completely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely in your 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 option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of device has one bit that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two elements is still fairly discrete. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification solutions. These kinds are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re wearing the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them a good fit for people who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good option for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
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 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 somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart idea to speak with us about what will work best for your specific requirements.
Upkeep and repair
Obviously, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and again.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be assessed? In general, you should schedule a regular maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you an opportunity to be sure that everything is working properly and as it should!
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 good warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There is no single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be best, 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 right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!